Executive Briefings

U.K. Traders Say Blockchain Can Ameliorate Impending Customs Congestion

U.K. traders say that blockchain could automate and systematize the administrative burdens of customs oversight generated by an impending customs regime, following the recent announcement by Brexit Secretary David Davis that a new customs system will be in place by 2019.

Adoption of blockchain technology in the logistics industry has been uneven despite its promise. While the technology is making headway in the maritime mode, airfreight has struggled to implement the technology, in part because of how segmented the industry is. Many smaller companies resist the expensive adoption costs, while others cling to legacy systems. If blockchain becomes the default monitoring and tracking system along the borders of one of the world’s largest economies, other state and non-state actors could follow suite.

Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International, said blockchain would maintain the same “frictionless” border that the U.K. currently enjoys with the E.U. “Blockchain offers a better way of recording customs data in a way that can be shared both securely and transparently with multiple parties,” Cleworth explained. “In the marine supply chain, we have seen how a blockchain-enabled system can greatly reduce associated administrative costs and time delays.”

Blockchain allows authorized individuals, such as border agents, to access shipment data that could, in theory, cover the shipment along the entire supply chain. Any efforts to tamper with the shipment or corrupt the report would be visible to authorized agents, meaning that suspicious shipments would be easy to spot.

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Adoption of blockchain technology in the logistics industry has been uneven despite its promise. While the technology is making headway in the maritime mode, airfreight has struggled to implement the technology, in part because of how segmented the industry is. Many smaller companies resist the expensive adoption costs, while others cling to legacy systems. If blockchain becomes the default monitoring and tracking system along the borders of one of the world’s largest economies, other state and non-state actors could follow suite.

Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International, said blockchain would maintain the same “frictionless” border that the U.K. currently enjoys with the E.U. “Blockchain offers a better way of recording customs data in a way that can be shared both securely and transparently with multiple parties,” Cleworth explained. “In the marine supply chain, we have seen how a blockchain-enabled system can greatly reduce associated administrative costs and time delays.”

Blockchain allows authorized individuals, such as border agents, to access shipment data that could, in theory, cover the shipment along the entire supply chain. Any efforts to tamper with the shipment or corrupt the report would be visible to authorized agents, meaning that suspicious shipments would be easy to spot.

Read Full Article