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Blockchain could achieve ‘frictionless’ EU border

Oct 24, 2017
The Brexit Secretary, David Davis, recently said that a new customs system will be in place by 2019.

Companies that rely on high-traffic routes on the Irish border and channel ports such as Dover are worried that new bureaucratic measures will cost both time and money as they continue to do business with EU Member States. However, it’s possible that blockchain technology (see The Mover article from the July issue here) could be the solution.  

Jody Cleworth, CEO of Marine Transport International, has recently overseen a successful project linking shipping supply chains using blockchain technology. He feels that the same technology can enable the UK to maintain the same ‘frictionless’ border that it currently enjoys with the EU. 
“Blockchain offers a better way of recording customs data in a way that can be shared both securely and transparently with multiple parties,” said Jody. “In the marine supply chain we have seen how a blockchain-enabled system can greatly reduce associated administrative costs and time delays.” 
“Blockchains can be set up to give border officials automatic access to data and documents linked to the vehicle as it reaches the border,” he added. “The bonus is an immutable record of provenance, meaning that supply chains or goods can be traced to source and destination.”  Jody said that this will give agencies a real-time view of what cargo and people are arriving or departing from a specific port. For example, potentially hazardous cargo can be easily tracked without fear of going missing due to an administrative error. 
“The challenges posed by a new UK/EU border must be dealt with using the best technological means at our disposal,” he said.  “Blockchain represents one of the best options at present.”  

Photo:  David Davies 

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