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UN/CEFACT launches a project for developing a strategy for use of blockchain technology for facilitating trade

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The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), a subsidiary, intergovernmental body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which serves as a focal point within the United Nations Economic and Social Council for trade facilitation recommendations and electronic business standard, is working on a project for the development of a framework/mechanism for development and implementation of Blockchain services infrastructure for improving supply chain efficiency and integrity, to be potentially used globally.

The aim of the project is to create a white paper on strategy for development and implementation of interoperable global blockchain technology infrastructure by taking into consideration existing standards for implementation of cross border and interoperable blockchain infrastructure.

In 2019, UN/CEFACT already published a White Paper of Technical Applications of Blockchain to UN/CEFACT deliverables. This document analyses how the UN/CEFACT can support the use of the blockchain technology and other disruptive technologies for the purpose of facilitating trade and promote timeliness and quality of electronic transactions within supply chains, including e-commerce platforms, cloud-hosted solutions, Internet of Things (IoT), and technologies still under development such as the semantic web.

The blockchain technology is one of the latest technology that is being used in the facilitation of cross-border trade and improvement of supply chain efficiency, in particular for managing all formalities and documents related to trade operations, including the relevant payments (for more information read our article).

This technology, which is deemed to improvethe reliability and security of trade transactions, is increasingly used by Customs for reducing multiple and sequential handling of customs and trade-related information between the supply chain actors, that are considered as the main causes of data inconsistencies. An example is the “TradeLens” electronic platform jointly developed by Maersk and IBM, that aims at simplifying shipping operations and goods discharge procedures in seaports, in view to improve cargo clearance. This platform is being piloted by Jordan, Indonesian, Azerbaijan, Canada, and Thailand Customs in an effort to reduce shipping costs and eliminate inefficiency resulting from paper-based processes.




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