A. General Information
Blockchain based e-commerce platform -Dubai
B. Lessons Learned
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.
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.
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.
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.