What is the External Debt Reporting System (DRS)?

The World Bank Debtor Reporting System (DRS) was established in 1951. The DRS system captures detailed information at loan level for external borrowing of reporting countries using standardized set of forms.

Form 1: Description of Individual External Public Debt and Private Debt Publicly Guaranteed.
Form 1a: Schedule of Drawings and Principal and Interest Payments for Individual External Public Debt and Private Debt Publicly Guaranteed.
Form 2: Individual External Public Debts and Private Debts Publicly Guaranteed Current Status and Transactions during Period.
Form 3: Revisions of Forms 1 and 2.
Form 4: External Private Non-Guaranteed Debt. 

Public and publicly guaranteed debt is reported on quarterly basis through form 1 and form 2. Specifically, the new loan commitments are reported on Forms 1, and when appropriate, 1A (Schedule of Drawings and Principal and Interest Payments); the loan transactions are reported once a year on Form 2 (Current Status and Transactions). Form 3 is used to report corrections to data originally reported in Forms 1 and 2. Forms 1 and 1A are submitted quarterly, within 30 days of the close of the quarter. Form 2 is submitted annually, by March 31 of the year following that for which the report is made.

Private non-guaranteed debt is reported annually, in a more aggregate way, on Form 4, which  is  submitted annually, by March 31 of the year following the report year. A reminder letter (click here to see sample DRS letter) is sent to each reporting countries by mid-February of each year. For additional information on DRS general definitions and reporting procedure please refer to the DRS Manual

Uses of data:
The primary objective of the DRS is to provide the Bank with reliable and timely external debt information to assess a borrowing country's foreign debt situation, creditworthiness, and economic management; and conduct its country economic work and assess regional and global indebtedness and debt servicing problems. Additionally, the data collected through the DRS are a vital resource for:
  • Analyzing the volume and trends in external financing to developing countries
  • Setting an international standard on which developing countries can base their own debt management and measurement systems
  • Facilitating cross country comparisons of debt stock and flows
Data submitted by countries are entered into the DRS database, from which the aggregates and country tables are produced and published annually in the International Debt Statistics publication (successor to Global Development Finance and World Debt Tables). An important feature of these debt statistics is that they are long-time series data and topical in nature. DRS reporting requirements are continuously updated to reflect changes to borrowing instruments or debt restructuring that resulted from periodic debt crises.

Publicly available, aggregate data include time series of stocks, disbursements, principal, and interest payments along with various breakdowns of creditors, such as multilateral, bilateral, official, private, concessional, non-concessional, bonds, commercial banks, and other sectors of the economy. Also included are average terms of new borrowings and their currency composition. 

The data are accessible to the public through the Open Data initiative:

a. Annual publication - International Debt Statistics (IDS) book and available online (see link: http://data.worldbank.org/products/ids)
b. World Bank Open Data - http://data.worldbank.org/topic/external-debt
c. Debt Data Portal - http://data.worldbank.org/products/ids
d. Access online database via Databank - http://databank.worldbank.org/data/views/variableselection/selectvariables.aspx?source=international-debt-statistics or http://databank.worldbank.org/data/ 
e. Selected debt data are also available in the World Development Indicators (WDI) publication.

Additional debt data information:

For additional external debt data information please contact the Development Data Group - Financial Data team at ddg_finfiles@worldbank.org or contact Ms. Evis Rucaj at erucaj@worldbank.org.

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