The Korean Customs Service (KCS) is recruiting exporters and importers to test a blockchain customs clearance system.
They want to test with 50 companies on the export side and ten companies on the import side. The goal is to create a single version of Certificates of Origin (CO) which verifies from which country the goods originate. The exporter usually signs them and often a local chamber of commerce as well.
Customs services use COs to establish whether there are tariffs on the imports or whether the goods are subject to some trade agreements. Hence the document also contains a description of the goods and the costs.
This week KCS announced eight companies who will participate in the pilot. One of the companies is Korea Center which operates the Mall Tail, according to news outlet Chosun. Mall Tail allows Koreans to shop online with US websites, and forwards the parcels to Korea.
In March the KCS announced plans for a blockchain pilot. The aim was to “establish an information network linking import and export logistics supply chain entities with blockchain technology. And prevent document manipulation through real-time information sharing to prevent the occurrence of trade finance fraud and smuggling,” according to EconoTimes.
IBM and Maersk have a joint venture to digitize logistics and plan to launch a paperless system later this year. In some countries, there is skepticism about the readiness of customs services.