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Customs: Distributed Ledger Technology

Question for Treasury

UIN 214643, tabled on 30 January 2019

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 19 February 2018 to Question 128296 on Brexit, if he will provide an update on (a) the potential use of distributed ledger technology for any new customs system after the UK leaves the EU and (b) the outcome of the proof of concept trials referenced in the Answer.

Answered on

7 February 2019

The pilot focussed on building a single ‘permissioned’ Blockchain that could be used to inform a trader’s ‘Authorised Economic Operator’ status. The proof of concept ran for six weeks, and established that government could use Blockchain to securely share the results of sensitive risk checks to improve the efficiencies of certain customs processes.

Any significant implementation of Blockchain would require significant further work by HMRC. Further work on the application of Blockchain to ‘Authorised Economic Operator’ status is deferred until after the UK leaves the EU when timescales and cost will be revisited.

We are working with the cross government Future Borders Programme to progress the pilot as part of their Trusted Trader initiative

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