End of paperwork: Jair Bolsonaro signs decree and regulates use of blockchain in foreign trade

Bolsonaro signs decree regulating the use of Bitcoin technology in foreign trade

The famous ‚paperwork‘ required to import or export products from Brazil may be numbered.

This is because the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, signed Decree No. 10,550, published this Wednesday, 25, in the Official Gazette of the Union and which regulates the use of blockchain in foreign trade.

With the President’s signature, the country becomes a pioneer in the use of blockchain technology for the validation of documentation in foreign trade processes.

The document signed by Bolsonaro amends Decree No. 6759 of February 5, 2009, which regulates the administration of customs activities, supervision, control and taxation of foreign trade operations.

Thus, in the Decree published by the President, the documents no longer need to be signed manually or even with the exclusive use of a digital certificate.

They can now be processed digitally when signed through the blockchain.

„Art. 562. The Special Secretary of the Federal Revenue of Brazil of the Ministry of Economy may dispose, in relation to the commercial invoice: (…) IV – forms of mechanical or electronic signature, allowing the confirmation of authorship and authenticity of the document, including in the case of blockchain use“, highlights the document.

bConnect

The decree signed by Bolsonaro is aimed, among others, at bConnect, a blockchain network developed by Serpro for the Brazilian Internal Revenue Service. It began to be used in October to connect the customs offices of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The platform guarantees the authenticity and security of customs data shared among Mercosur countries.

„The bConnect network begins by allowing the sharing of information from Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) and there are already plans to increase the network to meet the sharing of information from Customs Declarations. More than a product, we are implementing a concept that will allow the exchange of any information between countries in a secure and agile way, preserving the sovereignty of each country“, highlights the manager of Foreign Trade Solutions at Serpro, Paulo Ramos.

For Bárbara Harckbart de Oliveira, of the General Coordination of Customs Administration (Coana) of the Federal Revenue Service, Bitcoin Legacy was created to supply an international need for automated exchange of customs data between countries, which, before, was done mostly through spreadsheets elaborated or extracted from the system that each country had and sent by electronic mail.

Paulo Ramos adds that companies certified as OAS are listed on the Internet, but it was necessary to have a system where it was possible to send the data of Brazilian companies and, at the same time, consult the certification of foreign companies.

„bConnect opens a new scenario for automating the sharing of customs information and will be evolved to allow the integration of Mercosur with other economic blocks regardless of the technology used by them,“ he reveals.

Hyperledger

According to Fernando Lustosa, Serpro’s Foreign Trade Solutions Business Consultant, bConnect was developed using Hyperledger Fabric 1.4, an open source application maintained by The Linux Foundation.

„This solution, which is vendor-independent, enables the access and visibility rules of the bilateral agreements signed to be replicated in the authorized blockchain network formed by the nodes of the Mercosur countries,“ said Lustosa.

Fernando Lustosa also explains that Hyperledger Fabric is an authorised blockchain network defined by the organisations wishing to set up a consortium.

„In other words, you have to be invited to participate in a Hyperledger blockchain, unlike open public networks like Ethereum. The organisations participating in the construction of the Hyperledger Fabric network are called ‚members‘, Membership Service Provider – MSP, which in the case of bConnect are the Mercosur countries“.

As it is authorised, Fabric has features with advantages, according to Serpro, over other open blockchains: data protection and consistency.

„It uses permissions to guarantee control of members and access rights; confidential transactions – visibility control of transactions by groups based on cryptographic keys (digital certificates); no cryptomaps – no need for mining or costly computing to publish transactions; programmable – logic implemented in contracts (chaincode) for automation of business processes“, Serpro highlights.

International reference

„Each country in the network includes information on its OAS companies in the blockchain and this information will be immediately viewed by those countries whose Smart Contract is established. In the innovative architecture proposed by Brazil, the foreign trade systems will be linked to this network and will be sensitized with the inclusion of new blocks,“ said the manager of Serpro Paulo Ramos.

The bConnect platform was presented in September to the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, an American security program, as an example to ensure authenticity of the customs information shared between Brazil and partner countries.

The presentation made by Serpro specialists marked a new moment in international data exchange, in which Brazil is a reference.