US Customs and Border Protection to Test Blockchain Efforts for Post-NAFTA and CAFTA Preparation


US Customs Agency To Test Blockchain Efforts In Preparation for Post-NAFTA and CAFTA

As part of preparations for the soon-to-be-replaced North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is set to evaluate its blockchain technology efforts by year end.

Their position was made known after members of the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC), met to discuss regulatory reform around different trade-focused areas including the adoption of blockchain technology.

According to Celeste Catano, global product manager at BluJay Solutions, a supply chain software company working with the agency, CBP is currently evaluating its proposed use of blockchain technology. Catano added they hope to have some recommendations by their planned December meeting.

“We just completed our testing last week on the blockchain solution for NAFTA and CAFTA verifications,” Catano told the meeting's attendees.

On their part, CBP representatives said the agency has concluded its latest round of testing blockchain technology for supply chain management.

The agency is working towards adopting a blockchain-based platform that can help to streamline its efforts to track shipments around the world.

CBP is one of a number of U.S. agencies looking at possible applications of the blockchain technology, having detailed its “live fire” testing in August.

Vincent Annunziato, director of the CBP's Automated Commercial Environment Business Office, explained during the October meeting that the agency is currently in the “proof-of-concept” phase, adding:

“We've produced a hybrid system that allows public sharing of data and also maintains the security of that data. It's particularly important for keeping trade secrets and that's what this architecture is designed to do.”

So far, however, the agency is only looking to provide a small level of funding at the moment.

“If we find something that doesn't work, we don't invest anymore. If we find that it does work, then we move forward with confidence. This is new ground for us, so it's exciting,” he said.

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