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It has been seven months since the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) along with Costa Rican, Mexican and Peruvian customs have undertaken a pilot project that will modernize their customs operations through 4.0 Blockchain technology.

For instance, although foreign trade companies that comply with fiscal, customs and security requirements are granted an OEA certification, the IDB detected points that are still weak in the exchange of information between worldwide customs authorities and the MRA.

These certifications benefit companies by making their Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) and Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs safer and more efficient. However, there is only a single monthly notification mechanism which is generated through email stating the status of AEO-qualified companies between countries; this method does not respond to the highest security standards because it lacks accessibility since the exchange of data is not shared in real time, possibly granting or suspending benefits to companies only until they share the information monthly.

These concerns were exposed by IDB Customs specialists, in an event recently organized by the Association of Free Trade Zones of the Americas (AZFA).

The pilot project is known as CADENA, and its objective is to use Blockchain technology, that until now is considered impenetrable, to create a digital platform that allows to share a single vision of the status of an AEO certificate in real time. Additionally, it is expected to have an extensive application in all the customs procedures of the companies.

Furthermore, it is expected that this technology will be applied in all operations within a few years not only in these three countries but also throughout Latin America.

-Angelica Delgado and Jose Vizcaino

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