(Cairo, Egypt - 21 April 2021) - The Government of Egypt, through its Egyptian Customs Authorities, has made mandatory Advance Cargo Information (ACI) declarations with its new Egyptian Customs law #207 for all cargo inbound to Egypt starting on 1 July 2021. The process is managed through the National Single Window for Foreign Trade platform (NAFEZA), built by Misr Technology Systems (MTS), and CargoX is authorized as the blockchain document transfer gateway service provider.
Nafeza single window platform by MTS
Misr Technology Services “MTS” set up the National Single Window for Foreign Trade platform (Nafeza) under the mandate of the Ministry of Finance of Egypt in 2020. MTS has now been mandated to design an ACI documentation process, and the CargoX Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) has been authorized as the blockchain service provider for immutably registering and transferring the shipping documents with Ethereum technology.
MTS implemented a national platform that covers Egyptian airports, seaports, land ports, dry ports, and free zones in compliance with international standards and best practices.
The National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation "NAFEZA" is an integrated information platform. It was built to integrate and coordinate procedures and information exchange between all parties involved in Egypt’s foreign trade system. It allows the business and the trade community to submit all documents and transactions for customs, control authorities, and ports.
The data is submitted only once through an online portal to fulfill all regulatory requirements related to the release of goods. The platform operates in accordance with the international standards of trade-related procedures and customs requirements for the clearance of goods, to convert Egypt into “One Logistical Area”. ACI filing is just one of the numerous services provided by NAFEZA.
Captain Ossama Al Sharif, CEO and Chairman of MTS said, “Egypt is proud of its maritime heritage, and we see technological advancements as a driving force of global trade and shipping security, and digitalization and data visibility are essential for better efficiency and transparency.
These two leading technological companies working hand in hand will offer a revolutionary solution for the whole region,” Al Sharif explained.
Mr. Stefan Kukman, CEO of CargoX said, “We are proud to have been chosen by MTS as a strategic partner to provide the key neutral blockchain technology for improving security in the global trade lanes that run through Egypt,” and added, “we believe this is the beginning of a great partnership.”
Mr. Gamal Kotb, General Manager of Misr Technology Systems said, “We have built the single window system (Nafeza) for trade facilitation in record time, relying on technology and service providers such as CargoX.”
Kotb added: "We believe blockchain technology is changing many industries at once - and we are proud that Egypt is yet again a global innovator and a key reference for modernization.”
Mr. Vjeran Ortynski, Chief Business Development Officer at CargoX said, “Governments and companies with a strong digitalization agenda are showing the way for all the rest to follow while gaining a strategic advantage."
Ortynski continued “The Advance Cargo Information functionality builds on the immutability and tamper-proof concept of our public blockchain technology while providing real-time transparency and auditability where it naturally fits - in moving goods between countries or continents”.
Egypt leading the way
Egypt, the most populous country in the Middle East, has traditionally been a key state in the global shipping industry. It provides a vital artery to global trade, namely the Suez Canal. The country is strategically developing its maritime transport sector with the most advanced modern technologies to serve the average container port throughput of approximately 6.5M TEU.
The Government of Egypt is one of the first in the world to implement ACI with the use of blockchain technology in such a way to exhibit unparalleled dedication to technological advancement in the maritime shipping industry and customs clearance technology.
ACI processing with the CargoX Platform
CargoX has upgraded its award-winning CargoX Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) with Advance Cargo Information manifestation capabilities according to the requirements of the WCO SAFE Framework-compliant process, as introduced by the Government of Egypt.
For the needs of the Egyptian Customs Authority and in partnership with MTS, CargoX will act as a gateway for blockchain document transfer, including ACI declaration envelopes, bills of lading, and other original documents required.
Using the CargoX Platform for ACI allows customs authorities to stop relying on declarations from importers. Instead, each document can be easily traced back to its origin, directly to the issuer, thanks to the CargoX technology based on the public blockchain.
Egypt ACI requirement provisions
The Egyptian Customs Authority, part of the Ministry of Finance, has put into effect the new Egyptian Customs law #207 in November 2020.
The ACI declaration shall be made mandatory as of 1 July 2021. Once registered on the NAFEZA platform, companies involved in the shipping process can receive the Advanced Cargo Information Declaration number (ACID). The ACID shall be stipulated on all shipping documents sent through the CargoX Platform, as well as the identification numbers of the parties to the bill of lading.
If the ACID is not included in the shipping documents, the goods will not be cleared and will be returned without discharge at the Egyptian ports.
About the Advance Cargo Information
A standardized, modern Advance Cargo Information process, compliant with the World Customs Organization SAFE Framework - updated with ACI in 2018 - provides customs authorities with information about cargo even before it arrives at the country of import. This enables the customs authorities to assess potential risks, streamline their workflows, support pre-clearance of shipments, and conduct documentation checks even before shipments depart from the country of origin.
Misr Technology Services (MTS) is a trade & transport logistics platform provider, yet another of the Egyptian government’s strategic PPP realization efforts. MTS is engaged in a 20-year contract to launch a national platform that covers Egyptian airports, seaports, land ports, and free zones in compliance with international standards and best practices. The target platform relies on ICT solutions and systems integration as a basis to provide electronic services, speedy automated procedures, and services of real business value to the trade community in a unified manner.
The company aims at providing unified quality data in a complete, accurate, and timely manner to the designated governmental authorities in support of their decision support processes.
About the CargoX Platform
The CargoX Platform for Blockchain Document Transfer (BDT) is based on neutral, public Ethereum blockchain technology and powers the fast, cost-effective, secure, immutable, tamper-proof, auditable, and confidential transfer of documents of title transfer and registration of original digital documents on the blockchain. The platform can be used as a stand-alone online service, or in a single-window customs system integrated via API.
In 2020 CargoX was approved by the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs (IGP&I), the global federation of 13 insurance associations which include 22 of the world’s largest 25 reinsurers (in 2019) that provide liability coverage for carriers, covering approximately 90% of the world’s maritime tonnage.
CargoX is one of the selected proof of concept providers for the FIATA e-FIATA Bill of Lading (2021), an observer at the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF), an initiative forum to the Directorate-General of the European Commission for Mobility and Transport. It is further a member of the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) and a contributor to the World Economic Forum Blockchain Toolkit.
The CargoX Platform was voted the Most Innovative Solution 2019 and best Blockchain Innovation of the Year 2019 at the Transport & Logistics Middle East (TLME) Excellence Awards. The company won the IRU World Congress Startup Competition 2018, was shortlisted at the Financial Times/RSG 2018 Intelligent Business Awards, made the finals at the SXSW Pitch 2019 finalist, and took home the #DataccioConnect Blockchain Innovation Award 2018.
Igor Jakomin, Ph. D.: Advance Cargo Information