A. General Information

1. Title

Blockchain based e-commerce platform -Dubai

2. Implementation period of the project/service:
5. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
Dubai Customs
Other participating agencies/entities
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
Dubai Customs
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
6. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the service
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
7. Business process category of the service
Regulatory/official control

B. Lessons Learned

8. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)

Dubai Customs developed an innovative Cross-Border E-Commerce Platform built on Blockchain technology.The platform is open to companies involved in the import and export of goods across Dubai’s borders, namely couriers, e-commerce companies and logistics companies, as well as for moving goods into Dubai from a free zone or a Customs warehouse located in the UAE. The idea is to allow each of the entities involved in a transaction - the shipper, the transporter and government authorities – to access the same data related to an e-commerce transaction and expedite goods movements.

Blockchain technology has been used to build the platform, and the IT systems of express couriers, e-commerce companies and logistics providers will be able to connect to the platform. When an e-commerce order is made online, data will be transmitted directly to the platform, which will create a Customs declaration automatically.

The Cross-Border E-Commerce Platform is to be deployed in two phases. In the first phase, in which DHL along with three well-known e-commerce companies participated, the blockchain platform was used to facilitate e-commerce export transactions transported by express couriers. During the second phase operations related to imports, declaration consolidation, and automated refunds will also be processed through the platform, and more companies will be invited to join.

Dubai Customs is currently working with other couriers and e-commerce companies to integrate their processes with the platform as well as connect their IT systems to it. Access to the platform will also be extended to logistics companies, free zone operators and government stakeholders, including the national postal operator.

b. Business need for the service (background)

The increased number of e-commerce transactions, both in Dubai and in the UAE presented number of challenged for Customsin terms of ensuring rapid release and clearance, while managing safety and security risks, efficient revenue collection.

To overcome these challenges, Dubai Customs saw the need to reinvent cross-border e-commerce business in partnership with all relevant stakeholders, and so examined the adoption of processes, technology and measures that will enable it to better control and facilitate B2C and B2B e-commerce transactions at import and export.

c. Business process covered*
d. Overall architecture and functionalities*

e. Relevant document/figure
9. Documents and data exchanged via the service
10. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches
11. Main challenges faced during the service
12. Lessons learned from the service
13. Main benefit(s) of the service
Enhanced regulatory compliance*
Transaction Cost savings*
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
13A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained

increase efficiency by eliminating declaration preparation time and reducing the cost of e-commerce transactions;

consolidate clearance and easily reconcile inventory by optimizing information sharing;

identify and certify e-commerce companies, enabling them to be served better;

provide 100% visibility and traceability on e-commerce transactions to all stakeholders;

regulate goods returns by linking trader and Customs systems;

improve flexibility for companies engaged in e-commerce;

reduce physical document submissions for imports into the mainland from bonded zones;

provide duty exemptions and a reduction in service charges.

14. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance
15. Future plan for expansion of the service

This blockchain will be the basis of a future, larger Customs blockchain, which will enable  the administration to connect with other electronic trade ecosystems, including other blockchains like the ones managed by Maersk or DP World.

16. Other information or relevant references on the service

17. Relevant document regarding the service

C. Relevant Standards

19. Electronic message standard
19A. Electronic message standard supporting the service
19B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the service
20. Technical communication standard
20A. Technical communication standard supporting the service
20B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the service
21. Security-related standards*
21A. Security-related standard supporting the service
21B. Type of security-related standard applied for the service
22. Other Technical Information
22A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
22B. Other technical implementation information