A. General Information

1. Title


2. Status of the project/service
3. Implementation period of the project/service:
5. Geographical coverage
6. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
Customs Administrations
Other participating agencies/entities
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
7. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the project/services
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
8. Business process category of the project/service
Commercial Transactions
Regulatory/official control

B. Lessons Learned

9. Summary description of the project/service
a. Objective(s)

We have developed a Document Handling System to enable immutable documentation for cross-border shipments, including production, processing, and all subsequent handling stages in digital format.

Through a partnership with Customs Direct – a U.S. Customs Broker – our platform can generate, digitize, store and share all relevant customs documentation. All documentation can be generated and attached directly to the order/supply chain workflow and easily exchanged between all parties.

In addition, we’ve integrated our solution with the ACE Portal to automate the process of cross-border compliance completely. The ACE portal connects Customs Border Protection (CBP), trade representatives (customs brokers) and government agencies involved in importing goods into the United States.

To further enhance the solution, the platform offers fully digitized document flow with integrated OCR scanning tools and exchange tools like DocuSign, to transfer any physical documents into machine-readable information.

b. Business need for the project/service (background)

Usual documentation processes for cross-border shipping are completely manual and thus prone to errors causing costly delays. Due to a lack of transparency, numerous fault lines exist with data being shared with multiple stakeholders. In addition, there are manual steps a customs broker must take to submit all the proper compliance to get a border cleared PAPS number.

Our solution enables digitization of documents and fluid data exchange between all relevant parties from customs brokers, to transport companies and border officials in automated, digital workflows.

c. Business process covered*

The solution covers all business processes around the exchange of custom documents for cross-border shipping. This includes certificates of origin, bill of lading, invoices and other relevant documentation.

There is also data exchange sent back to the platform from the customs broker which is the PAPS clearance number for importing into the US. This PAPS number is included in the digital footprint of the completed workflow.

In addition, IoT data can be leveraged (e.g. cold chain temperature readings) as required by the use case which ties into the sign-off handling process which is digitized and allows immediate exchange of digitally signed documents between parties, including timestamped submission and clearance of documents.

d. Overall architecture and functionalities*


Cloud-based architecture that integrates with producer backend (ERP etc.), shipping software used by 3PLs and custom officials (e.g. Customs Direct to the ACE Portal). The frontend is a document handling system that generates and stores all relevant digital documents and connects them to a specific shipment identifier (pallet, truck, BOL, etc.)


Generate, digitize, store and share all relevant customs documentation. All documents receive a unique identifier that is written to our Blockchain backend, making them immutable and assigning a timestamp to every interaction with the underlying document. Thereby it creates an end-to-end provenance trail for documents from creation, to exchange and sign-off as well as archiving.

e. Relevant document/figure
10. Documents and data exchanged via the project/service


BOL, COC, PO, invoice, customs declarations, other specific documents (e.g. veterinary documentation for meat)

Data Elements:

Production and shipping information, customs clearance information (PAPS number), responsible person/organization, date, time, digital signatures, exchange and edit timestamps.

11. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches

Proprietary solution. Used Customs Administrations available data bases.

Customs Direct solutions were intregrated for data exchange with US border officials.

12. Main challenges faced during the project/service

Getting all the stakeholders involved in the solution was the greatest challenge. Now that we’re forged a solid partnership with Customs Direct and we’ve battletested the solution, we can implement for any organization importing into the United States in under 30 days.

13. Lessons learned from the project/service

 Many border delays are still related to issues with compliance alleviated with this solution.

14. Main benefit(s) of the project/service
Enhanced regulatory compliance*
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
14A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained:

All of the above. Depending on what end of the platform or workflow connects the organization the border crossing, there are automation benefits avoiding rekeying, human error, and delays saving time and money for all parties involved.

15. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance


16. Future plan for expansion of the project and service

Deeper integration into producing companies and logistics provider

Wider coverage: Asia, Europe

Technical advancement: Blockchain is already integrated, IoT data would be next

17. Other information or relevant references on the project and service

References can be provided upon engagement. Customs Direct, the customs broker, and customs brokers in other countries which similar integrations as the ACE Portal.

18. Relevant document regarding the project/service

C. Relevant Standards

20. Electronic message standard
20A. Electronic message standard supporting the project/service:
20B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the project/service
21. Technical communication standard
21A. Technical communication standard supporting the project/service
21B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the project/service
22. Security-related standards*
22A. Security-related standard supporting the project/service
22B. Type of security-related standard applied for the project/service
23. Other Technical Information
23A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
23B. Other technical implementation information