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Source: Thailand Startup News  Aug 29, 2019

Thailand Customs Department Utilizes Blockchain Technology To Enhance Customs and Shipping Services.

Thailand Customs Department Utilizes Blockchain Technology To Enhance Customs and Shipping Services.
Source: Thailand Startup News  Aug 29, 2019
The Thailand Customs Department has taken an active role of utilizing Blockchain Technology to improve and modernize shipping in Thailand.  It becomes the second government agency in the region, to use blockchain-based global trade platform to improve the speed, accuracy and security of container shipping and also customs clearances and tax payments on imports.

The adoption of the new platform is the result of  collaboration with IBM Thailand and Maersk, using the blockchain-enabled TradeLens platform. TradeLens is a digital global trade platform that enables more efficient and accurate container tracking and information sharing among platform members. The TradeLens platform was jointly developed by Ap Moller, Maersk and IBM, and utilizes digitized paperless data and records at instantaneous speed when it comes to trackings, verifications etc. The  platform also is extremely secure, and all data cannot be changed while the containers are in transit.
The process of digitization of all shipping and documentation through TradeLens provides the Thai Customs Department an automatic and full- proof tracking tool which will lead to a more secure, transparent, efficient and simpler workflow, with near real-time information sharing from a diverse network of ecosystem members.
Thai Customs Authorities will now be able to receive shipping data as soon as containers leave the port of origin. This will give the Thai Customs more time to prepare to receive the shipments, thereby enabling more efficient and thorough fraud and forgery inspections as well as  more consistent and transparent revenue collection processes and also save time for end users or importers.
“The initiative to adopt the TradeLens platform will result in the  replacement of many old and time-consuming procedures while enhancing and speeding up its operations. Also, the Customs Department and other organizations related to  maritime trading will be able to access real-time information on the same platform. The TradeLens platform will also help the Thai Customs Department to be more efficient in risk management, quicken customs process and reduce operation costs, while end users will benefit also from time saved. This will create better transparency, customer satisfaction and also enhance the department’s role to promote national trading and economic stability by facilitating greater ease of doing business.” commented Mr Chuchai Udompote who is the  principal advisor on the project from the Thai Customs Department, in an interview with Thailand Startup News.
Ms Patama Chantaruck, MD Of IBM Thailand also commented, “ IBM is proud to collaborate with the Thai Customs Department to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of domestic and international businesses. We believe that TradeLens and also the utilization of Blockchain Technology in various forms will benefit all stakeholders in the global logistics ecosystems, driving the modernization of trade at the national, regional and international levels.”
Every year, more than US$16 trillion worth of goods are shipped across international waters and border with more than 82 % of this is transported by the ocean shipping industry. Conventional documentation procedures cause a number of difficult issues including inconsistency and mistakes, delays and disruptions due to manual verifications and data input, the inability to provide thorough risk assessments, the inefficient and costly stakeholder communication, and a lack of transparency. TradeLens using blockchain technology solves all the problems on all this issues in a split timeframe and replaces it with a rapid, accurate, risk free and cost effective system. Thailand’s adoption of the platform also makes enhances its competitiveness as a shipping port in the global scene.

The Ministry Of Finance that oversees the Thai Customs Department, will be investing more in  newer  fintech and blockchain technology applications to streamline its tax revenue collection systems and also day to day operations. It is also interested to collaborate with startups involved in the utilization of new technology to help it in any of its departments functions.