Sources & Methods


Outward Foreign Affiliates Statistics (Outward FATS or OFATS) describe the activity of foreign affiliates abroad controlled by the compiling country.  Outward FATS produce statistics on the number of enterprises (affiliates), turnover and number of persons employed of such foreign affiliates.  These are aggregated by NACE and the country of residence of the foreign affiliates that have a Maltese Ultimate Controlling Institution (UCI).  Such statistics are compiled under European Framework Regulation (EC) No. 716/2007.

Methodological description

Data for Outward FATS is collected by means of a paper questionnaire that is sent to all UCIs in Malta with foreign affiliates (i.e.  census-based).  Each Maltese UCI provides data for the number of enterprises with 50% shareholding or more, NACE activity, turnover and number of persons employed for each of its foreign affiliates.  NACE Rev. 2 is used for the NACE classification, whereas ISO codes are used for the country of the foreign affiliate.  Turnover is expressed in thousands of Euros whereas number of enterprises and number of persons employed are expressed in units.  Outward FATS data is compiled on a yearly basis. 

Accuracy and reliability of data

Information about the accuracy and reliability of data can be viewed in a dedicated ESMS metadata report available on the NSO’s metadata website.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

Data for Outward FATS for reference year N is transmitted to Eurostat by the end of August of year N+20 months (20 months from the end of the reference year), so as to satisfy the requirements of the regulation mentioned above. 

The ‘Outward FATS’ news release is published on a yearly basis on the NSO’s website, normally after two years from the end of the reference period.  This is published on the pre-established date as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar​ which is available on the NSO’s website. 

Accessibility and clarity of data

Outward FATS data can be accessed from Eurostat’s database.  A quality report is transmitted to Eurostat 26 months from the end of the reference year (N+26 months).  An ESMS metadata report is updated yearly and published on the NSO’s metadata website.

Coherence and comparability/consistency of data

Outward FATS data was compiled on a mandatory basis as from reference year 2007.  A change in the NACE classification was brought about from reference year 2008 with the introduction of NACE Rev. 2.  Therefore, data for Outward FATS is comparable for all reference years as from 2008 onwards.  Data is also comparable to that of the other Member States since all requirements and recommendations laid down by in the Regulation are met.  The variable values for the group codes representing the EU Member States and the non-EU Member States may not be comparable between reference year 2013 and the previous reference years, due to Croatia becoming an EU Member State in 2013.

For Outward FATS data, a 50 per cent shareholding and over for each subsidiary is used therefore data is not the same as FDI statistics (whereby a shareholding of 10 per cent or more is required).


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