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The Australian Border Force (ABF) and two Singaporean government agencies have successfully completed a trial that tested the interoperability of their blockchain-based digital verification systems. According to a report from ZDNet, ABF worked with the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and the Singapore customs to prove that trade documents can be issued and verified digitally across two independent systems — ABF’s Intergovernmental Ledger (IGL) and IMDA’s TradeTrust reference implementation.

Other industry players also took part in the trial, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group, ANZ Bank, DBS Bank, Standard Chartered, and Rio Tinto. Announced in November 2020, the trial was initiated as part of the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement to make cross-border trade simpler between the two countries. 

ABF said its IGL project is still at the proof-of-concept stage, but demonstrated its ability to facilitate cross-border trade and improve paperless trading in the trial. The first test case for the project was issuing certificates of origin (COOs), which contained QR-codes with unique blockchain-based proofs that verified the authenticity and integrity of the document. Until now, COOs have been issued on paper and the hard-copy documents took days to dispatch to all of the parties involved in the trade, including customs agencies, brokers, and banks. 

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Michael Outram, the Commissioner of ABF, said that the results of the tests will contribute to improving cross-border processes for Australian trading.

“Digital verification and verifiable documents show promise as a ‘circuit-breaker’ to disrupt persistent paper-based evidence required by authorities,” he explained. 

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