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Includes guidance to help complete your response and explains the Trade Survey for Wales.

First published:
18 November 2019
Last updated:

About the survey

1. What is the Trade Survey for Wales?

Now in its fifth year and collecting 2022 data, the Trade Survey for Wales is conducted by IFF Research on behalf of the Welsh Government. The survey aims to improve understanding of trade flows into and out of businesses located in Wales, including goods and services moving within the UK as well as internationally. By taking part, you are helping the Welsh Government and the Office for National Statistics better understand trade in Wales, which in turn will improve its business support and other interventions around trade.

2. Why is my data important? 

The results of the Trade Survey for Wales will be analysed to enable the Welsh Government to build a better understanding of the volume of trade moving into and out of Wales. Whilst there are other trade data sources, findings from these are aggregated into broad categories and much data is apportioned based on an organisation’s number of employees in Wales, which may not accurately reflect the businesses' activity. Your participation is key: every business taking part will help build a more accurate picture of trade in Wales, which in turn, will help inform decisions affecting key aspects of your business, industry and Wales’ economy.

The information collected is used to help develop a model of the business economy in Wales. This will help inform policy positions and decide how business services and other support is delivered. Previous surveys have collected Wales-specific trade data from 2017 to 2021, the 2022 data you provide in this fifth year of the survey will help improve previous years' estimates and inform how the picture has changed. This will allow us, for example, to better assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 and EU Exit. The information you provide will be more important than ever.

Completing your survey

3. Can I provide estimates?

Yes. Although an exact figure would be preferrable, if you are unable to provide this from your accounting system, an informed estimate can be submitted.

4. What year of data should I provide?

The survey will ask for 2022 data. We would prefer data for the calendar year (1 January to 31 December 2022) to be reported. If this information is difficult to access, please provide data for the 2022/23 financial year.

5. I am experiencing technical issues with the survey, who should I contact?

If you experience any technical issues when accessing or completing the survey, please contact the Trade Survey for Wales Support Team at IFF Research:

Telephone: 0300 0259 000

These contacts are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

6. What if I don’t have any data to report?

Even if your business did not make any sales or purchases between 1 January and 31 December 2022 please still click on the survey link and enter this information. Reporting a zero for sales and/or purchases is as valid as any other figure as we are measuring business trends.

7. My business is not primarily based in Wales, can I still complete the survey?

Yes. If you have a Wales-based operations, we want to hear from you. You can still respond to the survey if your headquarters are outside of Wales.

8. My business is in administration/receivership, can I still complete the survey?

Yes. Businesses in administration/receivership can still trade. If you are unable to provide a survey response it would be helpful if you could inform us of the name and address of the Administrator/Receiver.

Selection for the Trade Survey for Wales

9. How was my business selected?

Your business was selected from a UK business directory (the Interdepartmental Business Register – IDBR) derived from administrative sources (including Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) registrations) and updated with data collected via the Office for National Statistics (ONS) business surveys. Selection depends on many different factors, including the number of people you employ, how many other businesses operate in your industry and the size of those businesses.

General survey information

10. Why have I received a reminder when I have already completed the survey?

It is likely you completed the survey after the reminder letter was sent from our mailing house. If you have already completed the survey, please accept our apologies and disregard the information in the reminder letter you received.

11. How is the Trade Survey for Wales 2021 survey structured?

The 2022 survey follows a broadly similar path to the 2021 survey and only asks businesses about their trade activity for a single calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December 2022). Please see the Step by Step Guide attached to the invitation letter for further detail.

12. How long will the questionnaire take me to complete?

For most respondents, the survey should take less than 25 minutes to complete at most. However, the length of time it will take to complete the survey will vary depending on:

  • the number of products you sell within the UK
  • the regions your Welsh-based operations exported to and imported from in 2022
  • how easily accessible information about the business’s sales and purchases is to you during the survey. It will be quicker to complete should you have all information to hand

Like last year, this year’s survey only asks businesses about their trade activity for a single calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December 2022).

Data related queries

13. How is the data used?

The information you provide will be used by Welsh Government analysts for statistical and research purposes only. Any data entered into the survey by the closing date may be used for analysis even if you are unable to complete every survey question. If you would like to remove your data before the closing date, please contact Data from the survey will be analysed to produce estimates of trade in Wales, including Welsh businesses’ trade within the UK and the rest of the world.  

No information identifying individual businesses will be published. The estimates will be published on the Trade Survey for Wales pages.

Anonymised survey data may be made available via the UK Data Service as a restricted dataset. This anonymised survey data is held securely and is only ever used for non-commercial research purposes (for example by accredited researchers such as academics) once the relevant Data Access Committee has approved their data usage. Data stored in this way may be linked to other relevant datasets in the future so that the number of questions asked in the survey can be reduced. We do not share or use your information for commercial or marketing purposes.

Accredited researchers, such as academics, and other public sector bodies in Wales may also request access to the data. These requests are scrutinised by the Welsh Government’s Chief Statistician and, if approved, are governed by Data Access Agreements issued by the Welsh Government. These formal agreements set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

Where the Welsh Government undertakes follow-up research related to any responses given in the Trade Survey for Wales, this work may be carried out by an accredited third party (for example, a research or consultancy organisation). Such work will only be undertaken under contract, where the Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions outline strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

14. Who are IFF Research and how can I confirm this is a genuine Welsh Government survey?

IFF Research is an independent market research company commissioned by Welsh Government to conduct the Trade Survey for Wales on their behalf. For more information about the survey, please refer to Trade Survey for Wales.

IFF Research operate under the strict guidelines of the Market Research Society's Code of Conduct. You can read more at the IFF Research website.

If you would like to confirm IFF Research’s authority to conduct this survey, please contact the Welsh Government’s Trade Analysis team on:


Alternatively, you can contact the Trade Survey for Wales Support Team at IFF Research on:

Telephone: 0300 0259 000

These contacts are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

15. Can I give Welsh Government feedback on its survey?

Yes. We appreciate the time you take to complete our surveys. If you find anything confusing or difficult, we would like to know to help us improve in the future. There is a section at the end of the online questionnaire where you can provide feedback. Otherwise, please email the Welsh Government’s Trade Analysis team at with your comments.

16. How have IFF Research got my personal details?

IFF Research were provided with your personal details by Welsh Government via a secure transfer platform. Your data will be treated in strict confidence in line with the provisions of section 39 of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 and the Code of Practice for Statistics. It is an offence for the Welsh Government to disclose any details relating to a business or individual. Your business data will never be identifiable in any published statistics.