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United States: CBP blockchain testing for “certificate of origin” verification

CBP blockchain testing for "certificate of origin"

It is being reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will start testing blockchain functionality to verify NAFTA and CAFTA certificates of origin beginning in September 2018.


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According to reports in the trade press, CBP intends to apply blockchain technology for NAFTA and CAFTA certificates of origin: (1) to allow for more accurate information about imported goods from the country of export; and (2) to verify that suppliers in other countries are compliant, along with their U.S. importers.

With blockchain, CBP intends to expand the information obtained about goods imported into the United States as well as to determine that trading partners are in full compliance with regulations. In addition to data about transactions between the supplier and importer, CBP expects that detailed information about intellectual property with regards to imports could eliminate what are viewed as cumbersome exchanges of product descriptions and item characteristics. The underlying processes of accurate data collection using blockchain could eventually lead to the elimination of paper documents in the customs world.

Blockchain benefits

Blockchain is a digital technology that allows for the sharing of text, images, and data over a decentralized, peer-to-peer network that does not rely on an intermediary. Blockchain offers a similar possibility for recordkeeping, providing records of ownership and exchanges of things of value accessible by anyone on the blockchain. Blockchain may expand opportunities for faster and more secure transactions; streamline and automate back-office operations; and reduce costs by leveraging cloud-based technologies.  

With regards to trade and customs, effective blockchain benefits may be determined through the evaluation of relevant uses and the application of integrated systems and operations.  


For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

Doug Zuvich
Partner, Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

Andy Siciliano
Partner, National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Robert Waldrop
T: 212-954-8117 

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

John L. McLoughlin
Principal, East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, WNT
T: 212-954-3094

Amie Ahanchian
Managing Director
T: 202-533-3247

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533

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