U. S. Customs and Border Protection will begin real-time testing of a tracking system on a blockchain after Labor Day.
As previously reported, CBP plans to test blockchain technology in a "live fire test" as part an effort to eliminate paper documents in the verification of the certificates of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). On Friday, Vincent Annunziato, a division of Business Transformation and Innovation, told CoinDesk that the agency has already successfully conducted preliminary tests of the system, which has been under development in the last year.
The system is now in a conceptual phase demonstration, he added.
"It is not just a matter of verifying that the system works, but we are observing the complete technical and regulatory framework underway," said Annunziato.
The private blockchain that is developing CBP should duplicate the paper system currently in use, simplify the procedure for users and thus reduce the time it took to work on the documentation.
With the new system, importers will be immediately informed of the bids:
"Once the supplier sends the data, not only the government is informed, but also the broker and the # 39; importer. "
Data would be entered into the system "in advance," rationalizing the entire communication process, he said. For example, an individual may want to bring a dog from Germany to the United States. If the system is able to ensure that the dog health message comes directly from the German government, the importer will not have to provide any additional document.
When asked about the security of the new system, Annunziato said that it is "of the utmost importance" and "it is [going to] to be tested". The transparency of the new system would not negatively affect competition, he believes: "Would it be good for a competitor to know that another competitor has submitted 10 certificates for imports from Mexico or Canada?
Annunziato refused to appoint specific companies with whom CBP worked to develop its platform, but stated that the selection of partners is carried out by the Department of Internal Security, explaining:
"DHS has a bank of companies we can use for these projects.We are looking for volunteers, companies come forward and then select from that group of people. "
That said, he explicitly denied that CBP was working with IBM on the project.
The next step will be to test the system for intellectual property rights, said Annunziato. The CBP is already "taking volunteers" for that project, even if no time has been provided.
In June, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded a $ 192.380 grant to the Factom blockchain project to support a beta test of a platform to protect data from cameras and sensors from Border Patrol  Send the image via Shutterstock