We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Singapore and Australia Conclude Blockchain Trial Aimed to Reduce Transaction Costs

The Australian Border Force (ABF), the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), and Singapore Customs, along with industry participants, have concluded a blockchain trial to prove trade documents can be issued and verified digitally across two independent systems, reducing cross-border transaction costs.

The blockchain trial was initiated as part of the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement to make cross-border trade simpler between the two countries. The trial successfully tested the interoperability of two digital verification systems – the ABF’s Intergovernmental Ledger (IGL) and IMDA’s TradeTrust reference implementation.

The trial demonstrated Australia’s capability in issuing high integrity digital trade documents that can be instantly authenticated, provenance traced and digitally processed. QR-codes embedded with unique proofs are inserted into digital Certificates of Origin (COO), enabling immediate verification for authenticity and integrity of the document when scanned or machine-read.

A key success of the trial is the acceptance of verifiable COOs by a regulatory authority, Singapore Customs. Trial participants included top players from the banking industry. They noted the benefits of improved efficiency through time and cost savings by using verifiable COOs.

The goal of the IGL platform is to progressively remove the need for paper documents and reduce cross-border transaction costs for Australian businesses, consistent with commitments under the Simplified Trade System reform agenda.

Both IGL and the TradeTrust reference implementation use the TradeTrust framework as the key underlying technology to allow interoperability, so the document can be verified by both systems. TradeTrust’s approach to verification provides flexibility to allow documents to be verified not only in digital format but also when the documents are converted into a paper document at any point of the transaction.

The Chief Executive of IMDA said that they spearhead the development of digital utilities as baseline infrastructure for the digital economy. As one such utility, TradeTrust helps verify documents for more efficient cross-border trade. This successful trial demonstrates TradeTrust’s value as a framework to connect governments and businesses for more effective trade flow.

COOs are usually issued on paper and businesses regularly wait days to receive the hard-copy document via courier before dispatching it to multiple parties, including customs agencies, brokers, and banks. Paper trade documents are generally required by authorities to prove authenticity and integrity.

The Director-General of the Singapore Customs said the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated trade digitalisation and demonstrated the importance of cross-border paperless trade and the Singapore Customs appreciates the close collaboration with Australia in this aspect and looks forward to furthering collaboration in promoting paperless trade.

In using this blockchain-based, decentralised approach, transactions can become more cost-effective and offer scalability without the need for expensive data exchange infrastructure, lowering barriers to the adoption of paperless cross-border trade.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, regarding blockchain-driven initiatives, the Singapore Government has published HealthCerts – a set of digital open standards for issuing digital COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates, in line with international standards and the Singapore Government’s requirements.

The blockchain framework used to digitally attest HealthCerts is powered by OpenAttestation, which is an open-source document notarisation framework that uses cryptographic hashes for independent verification. Once documents are issued and stored on the blockchain, they can be verified by any auditor making it possible for outside parties to trust the submission source.

The use of digital identity and other assets is overseen by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, a part of the Prime Minister’s Office, which oversees the deployment of this new technology. The digital certificate stores identity details (name, national identity number, DOB, etc.) and test details (type, status, date, medical institution details). The QR Code will be sent via email or presented under the SingPass Mobile app.

The government has said it is keen to work with partners to further the work in this space, which includes further enhancing interoperability, privacy, and verifiability for such certificates.

Send this to a friend