The United States Custom and Border Protection (CBP) has recently revealed its intentions to introduce a blockchain technology-based initiative to the verification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) certificates.
Based on the American Shippers, the new trial will see the agency begin “we fire testing” a blockchain system to authenticate imported goods originated from the country and export and also to verify the supplier are “complaint along with their U.S importers.
The United States Custom Board Protection (CBP), Division of Business Transformation and Innovation head, Vincent Annunziato stated that the regulatory body is keen to know the execution of this project which is due for launch in September, in order to prepare ahead of new development and consequently increase market adoption in the United States. Vincent Annunziato, while giving a speech at CBP’s 2018 Trade Symposium in Atlanta, stated that:
“Really what the government’s trying to do is twofold: One is to help blockchain along in a healthy manner for increasing market adoption, and the other thing is we’re trying to prepare ourselves in a proactive way to be ready for when private industry begins to really take off with this technology.”
How Then Does it Work?
It appears that the new system when launched will be available in the form of a Mobile App which will constitute a suitable substitute for the conventional paper-based process used for verification in time past which has caused series of inconveniences in terms of verification.
Vincent Annunziato further shed more light on some certain controversial issues such as Commercial Custom Operation Advisory Committee customs (COAC) which is a special group created in November 2017 with the sole responsibility of rendering advisories assistance to the Secretaries of Treasury and Homeland Security on the agency’s commercial operators. He further stated that the group is recently working on a “Proof-of-concept exercise” that will be based on the blockchain technology to authenticate intellectual property between “IP licenses and Licensors.”
“So if you have a rights holder that is granting licenses to Company A, and then did they also grant the right for Company A to license out? You can now follow generationally what’s going on. So in a way, the government’s got a view of that interaction with the company, and we see it as a worthwhile venture for the rights holders,” he added.
Other Plans by the CBP
The United States Custom Board Protection also revealed plans to introduce an app (though still under construction) which uses the blockchain technology to verify trademark and Intellectual property examination purposes. The Agency’s passion is premised on the desire to eradicate paper-based process for the United States Custom Operation which is considered a brilliant move. He concluded that:
“Why would we need to have that absolute signature if we know the government of Australia is sending me something, and I can, without a shadow of a doubt, know that it’s Australia or France or Switzerland?”
Also, CBP commissioner Kevin McAleenan confirmed while in the symposium that the agency is working with private sector partners and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate on “interoperability standard” for the new blockchain technology inventions which will be subsequently announced.