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Digitalising trade with blockchain

The Certificate of Origin

This paper analyses the initial use case that lead to the development of a pilot project to enable a fully digital supply chain for the issuance, transfer and verification of the Certificate of Origin. This pilot project is an example of how international trade documents can be digitalised and secured through the use of Blockchain technology.

In the spring of 2020, the Belgian maritime technology startup T-Mining - with the support of Deloitte and the Belgian Federation of Chambers of Commerce - embarked on an ambitious international project to pilot a blockchain-based solution to create and transfer authentic, digital Certificates of Origin (CoO) between trade partners and authorities.

The initial requirements gathering resulted in the development of a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) by the end of 2020, which is now ready to be field-tested in two planned pilots. For 2021 the project partners - with funding from the Flemish government (VLAIO) - are looking for companies who export goods from Europe to other parts of the world, and who are interested in joining the two planned international pilots. The goal of the pilot is to use the solution, which is connected to the digital CoO issuing platform of the Belgian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, in a selected trade lane with trade partners, to transfer CoO's fully digital between trade partners and authorities, and measure the gains in efficiency and the reduction in errors and waiting time.

This paper analyses the use case that lead to the development of the pilot solution and provides insights on how this application could be expanded to other trade documents. 

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