Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is one amongst the U.S. largest law enforcement agency. CBP is ready to launch a live test of shipment tracking system on Blockchain. This news was mentioned in the GSN report which is a tech news and media agency on 24th August.
CBP has named the testing as “live-fire tests” of blockchain validating origin certificates of the partners:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
According to the previous reports, CBP was planning for a trial on blockchain technology in a “live fire testing”. This would be to eliminate paperwork validating NAFTA and CAFTA certificates. To test the technology, CBP is operating two different systems
- CBP legacy application
- Blockchain system built by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate
This is basically to examine how the distributed ledger technology (DLT) works with validating free trade agreements.
Back on Friday, Vincent Annunziato, the director of Transformation & Innovation Division at CBP said that they have already accomplished the preliminary test conduction of the system. This project has been under development since last year.
Saying the system is now under the proof-of-concept (PoC) phase, Vincent Annunziato added:
It’s not just checking that the system works. We’re looking at the complete technical and regulatory framework that is in place.
CBP is developing to reduce the duplicity of the paperwork system which is currently in use. They are looking to simplify the process for users cutting off the time spent running the paperwork. Incorporating the new system, participants can import deals with full information of the proceedings instantly:
Vincent Annunziato says that the data entry will be done in the system “upfront,” simplifying the whole communication process. For example, a person is bringing a dog from Germany to the U.S. If the system guarantees the message about the health of the dog is directly coming from the German government. Then, the importer will not need to provide any additional documents.
Annunziato says about the security of the new system,
It is very important and it is going to be tested. The new system transparency would not influence the competition negatively. Would it be okay with one competitor to know that another competitor submitted 10 certificates for imports from Mexico or Canada? We think it is okay.
He also declines to specify the names of companies that CBP has partnered with for developing its platform. However, he said that the partners’ selection is accomplished by the Department of Homeland Security, elaborating:
DHS has a bank of companies that we can use for these projects. We solicit for volunteers, the companies come forward, and then we select from that group of people.
It is also said, Annunziato explicitly denies that CBP was in partnership with IBM working on the project. The next stage will occupy the testing of the system considering intellectual property rights. The CBP is already holding volunteers for this project, though no timeline is mentioned.