Blockchain eCertificate Of Origin Platform Launched In Singapore

Announcements, Blockchain, Innovation | May 9, 2018 By:

The Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC) and cross-border trade facilitation solutions provider vCargo Cloud have launched a blockchain-based e-Certificate of Origin (eCO) platform to drive the digitalization of trade.

A certificate of origin is a document declaring in which country a commodity or good was manufactured. It contains information regarding the product, its destination, and the country of export. Required by many treaty agreements for cross-border trade, the document is an important form because it can help determine whether certain goods are eligible for import, or whether goods are subject to duties.

The blockchain platform was developed by VCC, SICC’s technology partner and a 50.01%-owned subsidiary of SGX-listed DeClout Limited. SICC seeks to provide its members, trade-related agencies, and users of complementary services such as trade financing and insurance with a blockchain-based trade facilitation system.

SICC claims that the platform will enhance transparency, security, and efficiency in authenticating trade documents. Running on a private blockchain network, it would allow instant verification of eCOs and prevent fraud, alterations, and third-party interference.

“VCC’s platform utilizes QR codes, allowing eCOs to be scanned using smart phones, and then printed,” SICC said. “The number of allowable prints is restricted to prevent unauthorized duplicates. This improves efficiency and minimizes the costs of verifying COs, removing a major impediment in the process and a frequent cause of high insurance or trade finance costs.”

The launch will see an initial group of users moving to the new system, and remaining users will make the transition gradually. VCC is also planning to promote the platform globally, beginning with Asian countries that are substantive manufacturing exporters, such as Japan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, using the pay-per-use model.

Victor Mills, Chief Executive of SICC, said that the platform revolutionizes what are today still essentially 19th century processes, providing greater security for all users as well as a clear, unambiguous audit trail through the use of blockchain technology.

“SICC is honored and fortunate to have the opportunity to work with VCC on the launch of its platform,” Mills said. “My team has provided input for the design of a 21st century system which will benefit customers, the Chamber and all authorized operators alike.”

The launched comes amid the Singapore Government’s call for a self-certification regime through the ASEAN Single Window, which aims to expedite freight clearance and reduce manual paperwork across all 10 member countries.