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Australia and Singapore Authorities Completes Trial for Blockchain-based Cross-Border Document Verification

Godfrey Benjamin   Aug 20, 2021 09:20 2 Min Read


The Australian Border Force (ABF), the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), and Singapore Customs have completed a blockchain-based trial that helps reaffirm the possibilities that trade documents can be issued and verified digitally across two independent systems, reducing cross-border transaction costs.

The trial was conducted alongside major industry stakeholders, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group, ANZ Bank, DBS Bank, Standard Chartered and Rio Tinto. The whole action was part of the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement to boost trade opportunities between both nations.

According to the joint press release shared, the trial involves testing the interoperability features of the two digital verification systems — the ABF’s Intergovernmental Ledger and IMDA’s TradeTrust reference implementation. In the trial, the authorities inserted QR Codes with unique proofs into digital Certificates of Origin (COO), thus making it possible for the document to be scanned and its authenticity confirmed in real-time.

The trial's success showcases the tendencies for Australian authorities and businesses to issue high integrity digital trade documents that can be instantly authenticated, provenance traced and digitally processed. This blockchain-based process will enhance trade trust and speed up transaction time and inefficiencies in a remarkable way.

“ABF is proud to pioneer cutting-edge digital verification projects in Australia. We understand this collaboration is among the first to involve multiple government agencies from two countries to achieve cross-border document interoperability,” said ABF Commissioner Michael Outram. “Digital verification and verifiable documents show promise as a ‘circuit-breaker’ to disrupt persistent paper-based evidence required by authorities.”

According to the authorities, the venture's underlying goal is to replace paper documentation in cross-border trade transactions gradually. Exploring blockchain technology, which has gained traction in trade applications over the years, will help reinstate trust. All parties can easily verify the transactions, with no room to alter the details.


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