Saudi Customs has conducted a pilot project to connect Saudi Arabia's national customs platform with a blockchain-enabled shipping solution from Maersk and IBM.
The project, which was supported by Saudi Customs' IT partner Tabadul, was intended to test new technology and support the Kingdom's ambitions to be a global logistics hub.
The pilot integrated FASAH, Saudi Arabia's national platform which connects all government and private entities involved in cross border trade, with TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled global shipping solution jointly developed by Maersk and IBM.
The pilot aimed to link FASAH with TradeLens for selected services to ensure immutability, traceability, reduced reconciliation, auditability, and compliance.
"The pilot comes in line with our strategy that aims to facilitate trade and enhance security levels, while working to establish the kingdom as one of the world's premier logistics hubs," said HE Ahmed Alhakbani, Governor of Saudi Customs.
Saudi Customs says it has been able to develop a new roadmap that takes a pioneering approach to accelerating change across its operations through the adoption of new technologies that simplify and automate customs procedures and deliver world-class services to clients.
Through its adoption of blockchain, Saudi Customs aims to be the first in the region that is able to provide remarkable customs services that will see the Kingdom become a global logistics hub.
"The recent pilot to link FASAH to the TradeLens platform clearly illustrates that we are on the right track," added Alhakbani.
"We believe blockchain is playing a vital role in creating new trust-based digital ecosystems for agencies like Saudi Customs," said Tarek Zarg El Aioun, Country General Manager, IBM Saudi Arabia. "Through its adoption of blockchain-enabled TradeLens, Saudi Customs is helping transform the shipping industry in the region and enabling faster, transparent and more efficient real-time operations."
Maersk Saudi Area Director Said Mohammed Shihab added: "We believe at Maersk that blockchain technology will play an important role in digitizing global shipping. We are in the forefront of adapting and harnessing this technology to that effect.
"Today we are proud to combine the blockchain technology empowered by Tradelens, the expertise of Saudi Customs along with our shipping expertise to deliver a significant milestone in the adaption of this technology."