Australia and Singapore to Trial 'Paperless' Trade Using Blockchain Technology

Australia's border agency will trial blockchain solutions aimed at simplifying cross-border trade with Singapore.

Nov 25, 2020 at 10:47 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:34 a.m. UTC

The Australian Border Force (ABF), the country's customs and border protection agency, wants to simplify cross-border trade with Singapore using blockchain technology.

Under the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA), a blockchain trial was launched this week in an attempt to make it easier for businesses to digitally exchange trade documentation, per an ABF announcement on Wednesday.

In collaboration with Singapore Customs and the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the blockchain trial aims to reduce administration costs and increase trade efficiency. Specifically, it will test digital verification platforms across both the ABF's intergovernmental ledger and IMDA’s TradeTrust platform for sharing electronic documents, primarily certificates of origin.

"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,” said ABF Commissioner Michael Outram.

Businesses and regulators are expected to provide feedback on the process, with participation coming from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group as well as financial institutions in Singapore including ANZ bank.

Under the National Blockchain Roadmap led by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, the ABF will give feedback on the lessons learned from the trial and present those in a discovery report slated for early 2021.

The DEA, signed in August, sets out a framework for reducing barriers to digital trade, as well as fostering an environment where businesses and consumers can participate in the digitization of both economies.

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