Starting in July 2021, the Egyptian Customs Authority (ECA) has made it mandatory to use the National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation (NAFEZA) system to facilitate and expedite the review and release of foreign shipments upon their arrival at a port entity within Egypt.
NAFEZA employs the Ethereum-based CargoX – a digital documentation service to facilitate the processing of documents during the export process.
Being the leading maritime country on the continent, Egypt is one of the first countries globally to implement the Advanced Cargo Information System (ACIS), as suggested globally by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to enhance security and efficiency.
In April 2021, the North African country deployed NAFEZA as part of the process to modernize and automate customs administration, simplify procedures, and reduce clearance times.
According to the CargoX website:
“The CargoX platform helps you transfer documents of title and other documents, encrypted at the highest confidentiality level, as well as transfer the ownership of those documents.
It is based on a neutral, public blockchain, which enables an audit trail of events only to the participants involved – while preserving total confidentiality and full data, identity, and business connection privacy.”
The Cargo-X platform is built on Ethereum while leveraging layer 2 scaling platform, Polygon. The company insists on building on a public blockchain even though a lot of services doing business with governments choose not to. However, despite inter-operability challenges, it is working with various other entities to solve this problem.
Working with the government agency, Egypt Customs Authority (ECA), Cargo-X provides the agency with documents that it requires from exporters ahead of imports into the country.
These include 4 mandatory documents:
- A draft bill of lading
- Packing bill
- Bill of origin
After exporters submit these documents, the government’s NAFEZA system will either approve or reject them before proceeding to inspection.
The CargoX platform charges for every transaction on its platform. Below are some of the latest stats on the platform:
- Processes over 6, 000 daily transactions
- Over 20, 000 platform users
- Over 800 registered exporting companies
The platform is still at the pilot stage and expects a full service roll out in October 2021 where it predicts it will have more than 60,000 export companies registered.
CargoX is looking to implement similar solutions across the world, including in Africa, and believes that blockchain will be the most valuable technology for the supply chain sector.
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