The Australian Border Force (ABF) announced on Wednesday (25 Nov) that it has launched a blockchain trial with Singapore Customs and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to develop solutions that “make cross border trade simpler and paperless for Australian businesses”.
ABF stated in a press release that the planned solutions are in line with the bilateral Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement.
The blockchain trial was launched by the authorities of Australia and Singapore on Monday (23 Nov), which marks the first blockchain technology developed by experts from both countries at the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business for inter-government document exchange.
“The ABF welcomes the opportunity to collaborate further with Singapore to improve cross-border trade between our countries,” said ABF Commissioner Michael Outram.
“In addition to our efforts internationally, this initiative will incorporate paperless trading and secure, digital exchange of trade information as part of the future architecture and design of an Australian Trade Single Window,” he added.
The purpose of the blockchain trial is to reduce administration costs and increase trade efficiency, said the ABF.
Specifically, the trial will test digital verification platforms across both the ABF-developed Intergovernmental Ledger (IGL) and IMDA’s TradeTrust for electronic trade documents.
Businesses and regulators are expected to give feedback on their experience verifying Certificates of Origin with the two systems, with participation from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, and financial institutions in Singapore including ANZ Bank.
ABF stated that the trial also supports Australia’s Simplified Trade Agenda which seeks to reform and digitise trade compliance processes.
“The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is also collaboration on complimentary digital initiatives with Singapore regulators to progress paperless trading for phytosanitary and sanitary certificates for food and agricultural trade,” it noted.
“The ABF will feed lessons learned from the trial into the Supply Chain Working Group’s Discovery Report under the National Blockchain Roadmap led by Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.”