A UBC researcher recently purchased some Statistics Canada trade data and now has a question about the measurements used. She reports that some of the commodities are measured in kilograms (KGM) and some in kilograms of known substance (KNS). What difference is there between the two (and a third, KSD, kilogram air dry)? Are they all equally kilograms?
I have looked at the customs tariff and related documentation, at multiple sources of trade statistics, and anywhere else I can think of, but can find nothing more than lists of abbreviations and their full names. Can the merchandise trade experts provide definitions for these terms?
Stats Can does not officially have any definitions of units of measure per se, but did confirm that it is based on the individual commodity.
An example that was provided will drive home this point I believe:
Code 2815200010 Potassium hydroxide (caustic potash), solid (UOM = KG)
Code 2815200020 Potassium hydroxide (caustic potash), in aqueous solution (UOM = KNS)
Commodities which are in liquid form often have UOM as KNS, while solids have UOM as KG. It is very dependant on the commodity, its composition, etc.
Our contact did mention that Canada Border Services have a publication defining all of the codes and some information on their state (solid/liquid) when applicable. You may wish to pursue that option as well.
In short – they are all kilograms, but different UOM are used based on the state of the product (liquid, solid, air dried).