AIMS OF THE STATISTICAL OPERATION:
The main objective of the Statistics on Affiliates of Foreign Companies in Spain (Inward FATS) is to provide accurate, reliable and timely information on the main characteristics and economic indicators that determine the structure and activity of affiliates of foreign companies operating in Spain, both in the industrial sector and in the services and trade sectors.
FILINT has been designed to respond, within the scope of the industrial and services sectors, to the requirements of the Inward Annex of Regulation (EC) No 716/2007 of the European Parliament and Council of 20 June 2007 on EU statistics relating to the structure and activity of foreign affiliates (FATS Regulation), i.e. the investigation of foreign affiliates within each country.
Economic Activity. The economic activity carried out by a company is defined as the creation of added value by means of the production of goods and services.
Each one of the statistical units (companies) studied frequently carries out various activities that should be classified in separate classes of the National Classification of Economic Activities. In general, the activities carried out by an economic unit may be of three types: main, secondary and auxiliary activities. The main activity differs from secondary activities in that it generates greater added value; whilst auxiliary activities are those that generate services that are not sold on the market and that only serve the unit on which they depend (administration departments, transport services or storage).
For the purposes of this survey, affiliate companies are classified according to their main activity, that is, the one that provides the greatest added value. However, in view of the difficulty that the calculation or estimation of this variable may sometimes imply for companies, if this information is not available, the main activity will be considered to be that which generates the greatest production value or, failing this, that which employs the greatest number of employees.
Company Size. The size can be established regarding the magnitude of the turnover or the production value or by considering the number of persons constituting the company's workforce. In this survey, this second option is chosen to determine the size of the companies.
Geographical variables.The geographical variable used is the country where the company that ultimately owns the foreign affiliate resident in Spain is located. The ultimate owner of an affiliate is the institutional unit located at the upper end of the control chain of a foreign affiliate and not controlled by any other institutional unit.
Number of affiliates
Value added at factor cost
Purchases and work carried out by other companies
Gross investment in material fixed assets
Total operating income
Total operating costs
Sales a broad
Data is also provided for the following economic indicators:
Productivity: Added value / employed persons
Average salary: Wages and salaries / wage-earners
Added value rate: Added value / production value
Staff costs rate: Staff costs / added value
The survey uses the National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE-2009) to code the companies' activity, process and publish their data.
As far as countries are concerned, the ISO 3166-1 codes are used: 2013:
which have been adopted by the United Nations Statistics Division:
The detail of the activities (sections) included in the CNAE-2009 that constitute the population scope of this statistic is as follows:
B Mining and quarrying
D Electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply
E Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
G Wholesale and retail trade; Repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
H Transportation and storage
I Accommodation and food service activities
J Information and communication
L Real estate activities
M Professional, scientific and technical activities
N Administrative and support service activities
The basic unit of analysis is the company or branch under foreign control.
The company corresponds to the smallest combination of legal units that constitutes an organisational unit of production of goods or services and that enjoys a certain decision-making autonomy, mainly when using the current resources at its disposal. The company can carry out one or more activities in one or more locations.
A subsidiary is a local unit without its own legal identity, which is dependent on a company under foreign control.
The statistical units of the survey are considered to be the affiliate companies or branches of foreign companies whose main economic activity is included, according to the CNAE-2009, in one of the sectors researched (industry, trade and other non-financial market services).
The population under study is made up of companies resident in Spain that are affiliates of foreign companies and whose main activity is included in sections B to E (industry) and G to J and L to N (non-financial market services) of the National Classification of Economic Activities 2009 (CNAE-2009).
According to the Manual of Recommendations on Affiliate Statistics “Foreign Affiliates Statistics (FATS)”, drawn up by the European Union Statistics Office (Eurostat) in collaboration with the different Member States, an affiliate is understood to be a company resident in Spain that is controlled by a foreign company according to the criterion of the ultimate owner (UCI). The final owner of a foreign affiliate is considered to be the institutional unit or company that, proceeding hierarchically upwards along the chain of control of said affiliate, exercises control over itself, not being controlled, in turn, by any other unit. Therefore, in our case, only the results from parent affiliates or ultimate owners residing outside of Spain are included in this statistic.
Control is understood as the ability to determine the general policy of a company through the appointment, if necessary, of the appropriate directors.
From a geographical point of view, the survey covers the entire national territory (with the exception of Ceuta and Melilla); i. e., the affiliates (study population) are companies resident in Spain, but their UCI (company that exercises control over the affiliate) may reside in any country in the rest of the World.
.With respect to publication, disaggregated data is provided for each of the European Union countries individually as well as for certain aggregations thereof (Europe, EU, Asia, Africa and Oceania, etc.).
The survey is conducted annually.
To date, the following results are available:
-Reference years of the data 2005-2007 (for the area of trade and services)
-Reference years of the data from 2008 (industry, trade and services)
This separation in the publication of the series is due to the methodological change in 2008 due to the introduction of the new CNAE (CNAE-2009) and the inclusion of industrial activities in the scope of the survey.
As this is a continuous survey, 2008 is set as the base period, due to a logical gap in the series, as a consequence of the introduction of the new national classification of economic activities (CNAE-2009) and the publication of information on industrial activities.
No. of affiliated companies: units
Employment: units (employed persons) and % represented by affiliates over the total number of companies
Economic variables: thousands of euros and % represented by affiliates over the total number of companies
Economic indicators: euros or specified in the variables
The data requested refers to the calendar year covered by the survey. As an exception, companies that operate by seasons or campaigns comprising two different years, and thus have accounted for their data in this way, the information refers to the season or campaign ending in that year. The year of publication or availability of the results corresponds to the 2 years following the reference year of the data.
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2017
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
Regulation (EC) No 716/2007 of the European Parliament and Council of 20 June 2007 on European Union statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates (FATS-R).
In this regulation (FATS-R Annex I, Inward Fats) the European Union authorities considered that the information on foreign affiliates provided in accordance with the EU legislation in force or available in the Member States was insufficient, inadequate or barely comparable to be used as a reliable basis for the Commission's work.
This FATS-R, which is attached, defines the most important concepts and regulates key aspects such as target population, statistical unit, variables to be measured, periodicity and quality.
The technique used to guarantee statistical confidentiality is based on cell deletion.
The survey is published annually.
The results of the survey are published on the INE website and some results are included in publications such as the Anuario Estadistico [Statistical Yearbook], Cifras INE [INE Figures], etc.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
Access to published tables:
From www.ine.es, in INEbase / Economy / Companies / Statistics on affiliates of foreign companies in Spain
No. of consultations of data tables (2018): AC1= 8,043
No anonymous data file is provided for this statistical operation.
Users can request specific use of tailored data, that will be carried whilst preserving the confidentiality of the data in all cases, through the Information area at:
A detailed description of the methodology used can be found at:
Eurostat's Manual of Recommendations (latest edition 2012) on Statistics of Foreign Affiliates can be found at:
Sections 10.6 to 17 of this document are the user-oriented quality report for this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
Quality assurance is also ensured based on the following points:
1) The population of foreign affiliates is exhaustive so sampling errors are excluded.
2) This population originates from the CBR (Central Business Register of INE) register of groups that is coordinated with the EGR (Eurostat EuroGroups Register), which limits the infra or supra population coverage. Any possible error in the coverage of these records is corrected through the information collected in the survey questionnaires that support the collection of Inward FATS, through the direct verification of the foreign affiliate status or otherwise, by the unit surveyed. To this end, an attempt is made each year to improve the supplementary sheet referring to the group of companies to which the company belongs, in the survey questionnaires in which information is collected on Inward FATS.
3) The Inward FATS information is subjected to the same statistical quality controls as the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector that is used to collect its information, and where the non-response rate is low and missing information is imputed following the same techniques applied to the aforementioned SBS.
The production process of the statistic has established controls to detect and correct errors in order to guarantee the quality of the statistic.
Data collection in Collection Units has programmed serious and second level errors, in order to filter the data as it is introduced by the user. During data collection and filtering, measures are also taken to reduce non-response.
Finally, once the data reaches the Central Services, the data is subjected to additional micro and macro-filtering controls, which guarantee a final product of sufficient quality.
The information from this statistic is also compared with the information from the Statistics of Spanish Affiliates Abroad (Outward FATS) in order to ensure that the units are foreign affiliates in Spain and not the parent companies of Spanish companies.
Pursuant to Regulation 716/2007 of the EP and Council, the Commission must evaluate the data sent by the different Member States for the statistics in Annexes I and II of this Regulation, according to the quality criteria listed in Commission Regulation (EC) 834/2009 on EU statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates, as far as quality reports are concerned. These criteria are: relevance, accuracy, timeliness, punctuality, accessibility, comparability and coherence.
Since 2015, the sectoral surveys (Industrial Survey, Annual Trade Survey and Annual Services Survey) that have served as the basis for data collection for affiliate statistics independently, have been integrated and harmonised in the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector, which has allowed the standardisation of the section or supplementary sheet in which questions are asked about affiliates. This has resulted in a more reliable quality of information collected on affiliates, regardless of their sector of activity.
The users of the statistic are:
- Eurostat, which uses the data in order to have information at EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) level on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates located in that area, as a statistical indicator of economic globalisation.
-. Ministries and other public agencies.
- The INE directories unit, which uses the information from Inward FATS to feed back the information from the Groups Directory of the Central Business Register (CBR) and also from the Eurostat EuroGroups Register (EGR).
- Bank of Spain
- Companies and institutions.
- Researchers and universities.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
In the latest general user satisfaction survey of 2016, the group of statistics referring to sectors “Industry” and "Services" included in this statistical operation, have obtained respectively 3.78 and 3.91 out of a total of 5, in the overall user satisfaction index.
The survey complies with the information requirements of the FATS regulation and the National Statistics Plan in the section on structural information on affiliates for the industrial, trade and other services sector.
The Completeness rate for available obligatory statistical results R1=100%.
The statistical information is collected from the data of the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector which is carried out by sampling. However, the sub-population of affiliates of foreign companies in Spain is exhaustively investigated (without sampling) in the aforementioned surveys. For this reason, there is no sampling error as such, although there are other types of non-sampling errors that are attempted to be reduced in the different statistical development processes, both in the collection phase (response rate and filtering control) and in the subsequent editing and imputing phases. For this reason, overall accuracy depends exclusively on non-sampling errors related mainly to non-response and population coverage problems in the directories used to identify the affiliate population. In the first case, the missing information is imputed and in the second case, the possible excess or under-coverage of the population is corrected according to the information reported by the affiliates themselves in the questionnaires and the information from Eurostat's EuroGroup Register.
Not applicable as mentioned in section 14.1. Overall accuracy, the population of affiliates of foreign companies in Spain is studied exhaustively.
A control of non-sampling errors is carried out throughout the statistical process.
In order to reduce coverage errors, the framework is updated annually and questionnaires returned due to duplicates, closures, out-of-scope units and changes in characteristics are analysed.
Specific questions that contribute to monitoring coverage are also introduced into the questionnaire and information from other surveys that use the same framework is included.
Measurement and processing errors are minimised through the various stages of manual and automatic filtering.
Total over-coverage rate (2017): A2=2.8%. Depending on the number of employees, the following over-coverage ratios are available:
- Less than 9 employees: 3.5%
- Between 10 and 49 employees: 2.6%
- Over 50 employees: 1.7%
Proportion of common units when administrative sources are used (2017): A3=N.A
Total unit non-response rate (2017): A4=9.4%. Depending on the number of employees, the following over-coverage ratios are available:
- Less than 9 employees: 13.5%
- Between 10 and 49 employees: 6.9%
- More than 50 employees: 5.5%
Item non-response rate (2017): A5=N.A
Imputation rate (2017): A7=11.2%
The European FATS Regulation requires the results to be available within 20 months from the end of the reference period. The sending of results to Eurostat takes place within this period and the publication of Inward FATS results on the INE website takes place in t+21 months, where t is the reference year of the data.
Timeliness of final results (number of days between the end of the reference period and the date of publication of the final results) (2017): TP2= 20 months + 27 days.
Punctuality (delay in publication) (2017): TP3=0 (compliance with the INE's release calendar).
The availability of a methodology, a design and a common process of collection, filtering, editing and updating in all its geographical scope, guarantees the comparability of the results between the different Autonomous Communities. On the other hand, the methodological adaptation to the FATS regulation makes it possible to compare with the other European Union countries that disseminated this same information for their respective sectors.
The methodological continuity applied since the implementation of the survey allows comparability over time. However, it should be noted that in 2008 there was a logical gap in the series, due to the introduction of the new national classification of economic activities (CNAE-2009) and the publication of information on industrial activities; in such a way that from 2005 to 2007 the series can be compared over time. From 2008 onwards, the subsequent series can be compared over time from this year due to the methodological change produced.
The indicator Length of the comparable time series (CC2) (No. of comparable elements in a time series since its last gap) (2017): CC2=10.
The use of the same national classification of economic activities allows the comparison of the survey information with other economic statistics such as the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector , and with the Central Business Register (CBR).
To favour this analysis, comparative results are offered for these companies, under foreign control, and for the rest of companies resident in Spain, under national control.
Coherence is a fundamental matter both in the survey methodology approach and in the whole preparation process. The coherence between the variables is compared in all phases of the statistical process.
To significantly reduce the response burden on respondents, simplified versions of the questionnaires for small companies have been designed and the design and selection of the sample has been coordinated with other surveys to reduce, as far as possible, excessive use of certain respondent units arising from the completion of multiple surveys in the same year.
The information corresponding to this survey is obtained from the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector considering the sample of affiliates, which is a subset of the samples of these surveys.
The estimate of the budgetary appropriation necessary to finance this statistic foreseen in the 2019 Annual Programme is 65.69 thousand euros.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
The data is final, when first published they are no longer subject to revision.
If errors are detected and the data must be changed, then an explanatory note is added along with the information to alert users that the data have been changed. Whenever possible users are directly informed about these errors.
The data are published when they are definitive, not subject to revision.
The information necessary to prepare the survey framework is obtained from the INE Central Business Register (CBR), which contains data on all companies resident in Spain, but which is capable of distinguishing those that belong to a supranational group of companies. In addition to identifying and location data for the different statistical units, the CBR contains information on the economic activity and employment of the different companies, which facilitates the consideration of these concepts in the stratification process. The information from the CBR is completed and updated with data obtained from the survey itself.
The sample of affiliate statistics forms part of the overall sample of the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector, therefore, in principle, the criteria established in this SBS statistic are also applicable in terms of type of sampling, selection of the sample, etc. However, given the peculiarities of the target affiliate population, it has been considered more appropriate, in order to better estimate the results of the survey, to apply comprehensive criteria in the process of selecting the units whenever possible. In any case, there is always a small number of units (affiliates) not located a priori in the directory, which are detected in the general collection process, and which consequently come from sample strata.
The data collection is annual and takes place during the months of April to December of each year.
The collection of information necessary for the preparation of this statistic is included in the general collection framework of the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector .
From an operational point of view, in the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector , a specific section is incorporated on the control by foreign companies that complements the information obtained from the main economic variables, which facilitates obtaining the required information on affiliates.
The means used to collect the information and supplied to the user for this purpose are the paper questionnaire and the questionnaire via the internet.
The management processes for the collection of information, both from the computer management point of view and the treatment of incidents and error control, are also integrated within the general section of the SBS.
As the survey information is obtained from the Structural Business Statistics (SBS): Industry Sector, Trade Sector and Services Sector, the validation processes related to the original data are those corresponding to this statistic.
The initial information processing stage of the survey, coincides in time with information collection, and takes place simultaneously with the collection, throughout the duration of the same. The articulated system is centred on three main aspects: a continuous updating process; a filtering of the questionnaire content, integrated in the recording; and a processing of the inter-provincial management of the company unit, and in particular, of the multi-location companies. Its overall objective is to establish sufficient levels of quality to allow a significant simplification of the subsequent processing of the information.
The recording and filtering of the questionnaires is done continuously by the collection units themselves, establishing the necessary control standards to ensure an adequate level of quality throughout the process. This enables the control, already at this stage, of any errors that may affect the data obtained from the respondent units.
Once the information is received in the Promoter Unit on magnetic media, a coverage control of the information is carried out, in order to guarantee the completeness of the recorded data, detect duplicates and coverage errors, and, at the same time, to be able to carry out a first evaluation on the quality of the variables collected in the questionnaires.
During the micro-filtering process, the detection and filtering of errors and inconsistencies in the identification variables of each register, as well as the filtering and imputation of content errors, are carried out. Depending on the characteristics of each type of error, in certain cases automatic imputation procedures are used, and in others file updates are carried out, for the purpose of incorporating the corrections of the errors detected. Likewise, the systematic errors detected in the studies and analyses carried out previously on the recorded data are corrected. The last stage, before the tabulation and dissemination of results, is obtaining analysis tables to eliminate the errors and inconsistencies detected in this phase by means of macro-processing techniques.
Not applicable as it is not necessary to adjust the data seasonally