Indian Customs Open Data

Starting today it is International Open Access Week, I have been associated with concepts of open data and open access since 2012 and was hoping to bring some serious attention to it in India. This week I intend to showcase a serious of datasets which several departments of Govt. of India publishes in there web portals through NDSAP apart from Open Government Data Platform

Today's dataset which I want to bring attention is of Indian Customs. Indian customs maintains records of every product imported and exported through land, sea and air. They publish this data through their commerce portal. They should be highly appreciated for maintaining this website and publishing the data. The data is published as per Notification No. 18/2012-Customs (N.T) dated: 5th Mar, 2012

The data being published includes origin, destination ports, name of the product, Harmonized System code of the product, quantity of product, unit quantity of the product, customs valuation of the product. For imported goods, the origin country is published instead of the port, while for export you get to know the exact destination city.

I came across this website two months ago. It publishes data only for previous 7 days, so the data has to be collected everyday and access to historical data is not possible. So I have been recording it for the past two months and you can download them here. The data is pretty strucutred, but still needs to be cleaned a bit to analyse them in detail.

This data can provide several insights into commerce in India and the trade patterns. For example, you can understand new markets where your product can be exported to. Competitor analysis is another use case. The most important thing is this data is open, so you can use it for research, for profit and off-course for fun. We did trade with 196 countries and 4191 cities/ports with in the last two months.

My interest with this data is to understand what a city produces and consumes. For example we can identify the market share of small and medium scale firms. We export processed hair to the west and import used medical equipment for hospitals. I am still analyzing this data and will post an update with a visualization once ready. Until then explore the data and if you happen to do something cool kindly share.