Reducing Friction in Trade (RFIT)

The Reducing Friction in Trade (RFIT) project was initiated in March 2019 as a proof of concept to establish how blockchain distributed ledger technology and associated technologies can be used to seamlessly integrate supply chain data with HM Revenue & Customs and the Food Standards Agency’s systems. The project intends to do so by guaranteeing the timeliness and provenance of critical data and avoiding the need for discrete declarations.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

The RFIT project was initiated in March 2019 as a proof of concept to establish how blockchain distributed ledger technology and associated technologies can be used to seamlessly integrate supply chain data with HM Revenue & Customs and the Food Standards Agency’s systems, guaranteeing the timeliness and provenance of critical data and avoiding the need for discrete declarations.

The project was conceived after a blockchain presentation from several different solution vendors. In this case, Chainvine Limited had shown the "intelligent Wine" application, a specific module that powers the Chainvine platform and in principle, helps users (in this case, importers and exporters) trace health, wealth, and happiness of a good digitally. In doing so, the application reduces the cost of trust in the supply chain ecosystem.

The proof of concept collected upstream data from wine producers that is relevant to Port Health Authorities and Customs and Border agencies, distributing it to authorised parties downstream in a secure manner within a Blockchain. This reduced the administrative effort required of traders at the border and showed potential for realising additional efficiencies through expanding early work into "intelligent/smart contracts" that can further automate processing.

The Chainvine platform is built in an open way with scope for extension avoiding proprietary systems or interfaces and is enabled to provide tracking capabilities using Internet of Things (IoT) tracking devices that are capable of capturing and relaying relevant parameters including location, temperature, and humidity. The platform allows for true democratic sharing of data between multiple parties.

RFIT has demonstrated the many benefits to both traders and the government of an integrated data source that is immutable, secure, distributed, and trusted across the supply chain. Reduction in data duplication and the need to manually enter data yielded a corresponding reduction in administrative overhead and submission errors, simultaneously improving data visibility, traceability, and tracking. At the same time, reducing risks associated with government use of upstream data.

This early work shows the potential benefits of creating a utility platform for trade, where government works with industry to connect and integrate decentralised data to facilitate international trade.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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Year: 2020
Level of government: National/Federal government

Status:

  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed

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