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Dubai Customs Launches Blockchain Platform to Streamline Supply Chains

Dubai Customs has introduced a new blockchain platform designed to alleviate supply chain friction within Dubai and beyond its borders. The blockchain solution is part of a larger initiative to solidify Dubai’s reputation as a leading “smart” city, as stated by the Dubai Media Office on July 8.

“This innovation reflects our vision to make Dubai a global hub for trade and logistics,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation. “We believe that adopting modern technologies like blockchain will significantly contribute to improving the business environment and enhancing Dubai’s position as a major center for global trade.”

Bin Sulayem emphasized that the blockchain platform aims to reduce time and effort by simplifying procedures to expedite customs clearance and commercial transactions. The platform will enhance supply chain transparency by enabling tamper-proof data sharing and minimizing the substantial paperwork typically involved in these processes.

“The goal is to make the business environment in Dubai smoother, more streamlined, and transparent,” added Dr. Abdullah Busnad, Director General of Dubai Customs.

Blockchains have been lauded as a solution for real-time tracking of items in supply chains and combating fraud and counterfeiting. However, there are still challenges to widespread adoption. For instance, IBM and Maersk discontinued their blockchain supply chain platform, TradeLens, in November 2022, citing a lack of “global industry collaboration.”

Despite these setbacks, numerous blockchain platforms continue to play significant roles in supply chain management. VeChain, a smart contract-compatible blockchain launched in 2016, is known for its supply-chain tracking capabilities. Chainlink, launched in 2019, has been utilized for supply-chain automation. The Hong Kong-based Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has also emerged as a notable player in the blockchain supply chain space.

Dubai Customs has been proactive in integrating blockchain solutions. In January 2020, it launched a blockchain-based platform to facilitate cross-border e-commerce, further highlighting its commitment to leveraging technology for enhancing trade and logistics.

As Dubai continues to innovate with blockchain technology, the city’s efforts are likely to set a benchmark for other global trade hubs aiming to modernize and streamline their supply chain operations. The new platform promises to create a more efficient, transparent, and competitive business environment in Dubai, reinforcing its status as a global trade leader.

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