A first phase of the project will be implemented among the Mercosul partners. The bConnect solution is developed on Hyperledger Fabric 1.4.

The Brazilian government, through the Federal Revenue Service, informed that the registration of foreign trade transactions on a blockchain will start during the first quarter of 2020.

Local authorities said that, after technical meetings with teams from Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay (“Mercosul,” as it is called in Portuguese), operations were established to share information among customs offices.

Sergio Alencar, a tax auditor from the Federal Revenue Service, said that the project includes several stages, such as automatically identifying companies certified as Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) in their respective countries.

Regarding the implementation, the official explained that it is required to know the companies on both sides in order to facilitate the trade and entry of certified companies. He mentioned that Brazil has an agreement with Uruguay, in which the former sends the latter a list of companies and vice versa.

To accelerate the process, the secretariat will implement a solution called bConnect, which is developed on Hyperledger Fabric 1.4. The programming was conducted by the company Serpro, which serves the technological infrastructure of the public sector in this South American country.

It is worth noting that three aspects will be evaluated by the authorities with the implementation: the first is to secure information so that it is not altered, the second is to guarantee the identity of the person feeding the platform, and the third is to consider the cost of the project.

It was reported in May of this year that Brazil was already working on this project, despite the fact that no dates or working meetings with engineers from “Mercosul” countries were defined. After having held meetings in June and December, a plan was established to activate the platform at the beginning of the year 2020.

Cases of Use

The Brazilian proposal to apply distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain to its foreign trade and customs registers is not the first of its kind. In November 2016, it was reported that the United States was considering a pilot plan to use a blockchain in its customs services.

On that occasion, the possibility of implementing this type of decentralized database for the delivery of permits, licenses, and certificates; the tracking of products and the verification of their components and origin, among others, were analyzed.

With regard to Spain, there have also been reports on the use of blockchains for logistics in the harbors of Valencia. In this case, it is a solution to the companies IBM and Maersk. More recently, in August of this year, the harbor of Veracruz in Mexico began testing a blockchain for its export activities.

Blockchain or distributed accounting is the original technology of Bitcoin as a digital system in which two or more participants can perform any type of transaction without the participation of intermediaries or trusted third parties through the Internet. To conclude, it should be mentioned that it is also an encrypted system that safeguards the data of the transactions.

By Willmen Blanco


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