According to the latest reports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to test applying “blockchain” to certificates of origin of NAFTA and CAFTA.

Applying blockchain will provide more information about cargo being imported from certain countries of export. Testing is slated to begin in September 2018. CBP’s intention is to grow the amount of information regarding cargo being imported into the U.S., with the end goal of verifying that both importers and shippers are fully-compliant with CBP rules and regulations.

In addition to data about transactions between suppliers and importers, CBP expects that detailed information about imports’ intellectual property could eliminate what are viewed as cumbersome exchanges of product descriptions and item characteristics. Implementing accurate data collection using blockchain could eventually lead to the elimination of paper documents in the customs world.

What are the benefits of applying blockchain to certificates of origin?

On the rise globally, blockchain is a technology that allows for sharing information, data, and images without an intermediate channel. It also allows a party to keep and share records, and provide records of ownership and exchanges of valuable items, made accessible to anyone on the blockchain.

The information and records are transparent only to the parties who have access to the network. With this security, blockchain has become a promising technology with a wide-range of information, records, customs, and trade-related transactions. Blockchain may expand opportunities for faster and more-secure transactions, streamline and automate back-office operations, and reduce costs by leveraging cloud-based technologies.

With regards to trade and customs, the most-effective benefits of blockchain may be determined through the evaluation of relevant uses and the application of integrated systems and operations, in the near future.