Aim of this survey

The Quarterly Survey of International Trade in Services (QITIS) collects information on the imports and exports of 52 different types of services (products) by country of origin and destination.

The results of the QITIS provide Trade in Services data, which contribute to the main components of the measurement of the UK’s balance of payments and of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Department for International Trade (DIT) make significant use of the results. The data collected by this survey are standard components of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) balance of payments manual and it is a condition of membership that these items are collected.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • details about your business' international trade in services

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading businesses registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

Population: approximately 100,000

Sample: approximately 2,500

Frequency: quarterly

Dispatch dates

Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar): between 24 and 29 March

Quarter 2 (Apr to June): between 26 June and 1 July

Quarter 3 (July to Sept): between 25 and 28 September

Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec): between 12 and 15 December

Return-by dates

Quarter 1: 11 April

Quarter 2: 11 July

Quarter 3: 10 October

Quarter 4: 10 January

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The QITIS is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 plus employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant.

We select some small- and medium-sized businesses, usually for a set period of time then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

The QITIS is conducted through a Secure Electronic File Transfer (SEFT) spreadsheet. An example of the template is available in the “Related download” section on the right-hand side of this page. There are guidelines explaining how to complete your return. Once complete, please upload the spreadsheet to the ONS Survey Data Collection system.

Complete this survey online

If you return the data in a different format, it will be returned to you to amend and re-submit.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

If you need help

If your questions are not answered on this page, you may be able to find the answers in the About ONS business surveys section.

You can call us on 0300 1234 931. Please enter the three-digit survey ID code 057.

If you would like to use our Minicom service for the Deaf, call 01633 815044.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.