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Australia and Singapore announce cross-border trade blockchain trials

Australia and Singapore have announced plans to trial a blockchain system that aims to improve the flow of cross-border trade, according to reports.

The Australian Border Force has partnered with two separate regulatory agencies in Singapore, Singapore Customs and Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority, to run a pilot of digital verification schemes on the blockchain, which aims to streamline cross-border trade between the two countries.

The trial, which got underway earlier this week, will use the Border Force’s Intergovernmental Ledger and Singapore’s TradeTrust system to handle electronic documents for cross-border trade.

The trial will be conducted by blockchain experts from both sides, via the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. A number of entities including ANZ Bank, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Australian Industry Group are set to participate in the trials.

Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram said the blockchain solution would increase the efficiency of trade between the two countries, while also reducing the costs of administration.

“The ABF welcomes the opportunity to collaborate further with Singapore to improve cross-border trade between our countries. In addition to our efforts internationally, this initiative will incorporate paperless trading and secure, digital exchange of trade information as part of the future architecture and design of an Australian Trade Single Window.”

According to the Border Force, lessons learned from the trial will be shared via the Supply Chain Working Group’s Discovery Report, part of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources under its National Blockchain Roadmap.

The roadmap follows on from advice given by the agency just two years ago, in which it said blockchain technology was overhyped.

The announcement of the latest trial perhaps demonstrates a move from the agency towards the benefits blockchain can bring in the global trade use case.

See also: CoinGeek Live panel on The Future of Banking, Financial Products & Blockchain

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