Making trade easier: Costa-Rican customs adopts blockchain

The world’s three biggest container shipping groups including Denmark’s Maersk have said they are suspending non-essential deliveries to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine – Copyright AFP / File Nhac NGUYEN

Is blockchain now an established part of the supply chain industry? Things appear to be heading in that direction. This includes acceptance by state officials as to the importance of digital ledgers.

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Blockchain is based on digital technology and it is a form of software that provides a digital ledger system for records and log transactions, by grouping them into chronologically ordered blocks.

Such a system has been adopted by the Costa Rican Customs Authority, who will integrate a blockchain underpinned platform and use this to review containerized shipment events and transportation documents, including bills of landing. The technology has been provided by the company TradeLens.

The new technology enables key information to be recorded digitally within specific data fields in transportation documents. The aims are two-fold: To make trade easier for compliant companies doing business in the country while and the same time assisting in the identification of fraudulent activities.

The blockchain process enables data to be recorded in a secure digital format. This provides real-time information on transactions between different parties, in records that cannot be altered.

Security is strengthened via the “blocks” on the blockchain being made up of digital pieces of information, which store information about transactions, say the date, time, and transaction price.

A further advantage, for the industry as a whole, is through the sharing of time-critical events which will allow importers and exporters in Costa Rica to gain access to earlier information and better plan logistic operations.

In a statement, Gerardo Bolaños, General Director of Customs said: “Customs of Costa Rica is excited to explore the benefits that blockchain can offer local importers and exporters. Collaborating with an ecosystem that already exists within the TradeLens platform allows us to review this new technology quickly and easily. Making it easier for legitimate international trade with Costa Rica is an important joint goal of this evaluation. ”

Such technology sets out to improve the process for network participants and to modernize the industry across the global trade ecosystem.

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