Singapore to build global blockchain ship registration system

Signatories of the IERS MoU (l-r): Dorjee Sun, Perlin; Quah Ley Hoon, MPA; John Denton, ICC; and Steen Lund, SSA

The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has announced plans to work with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Singapore tech start-up Perlin to build a blockchain-based ship registration preparation system, which it ultimately hopes could become a global standard.

Called the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS), the system aims to reduce costs, time, human error and potential for fraud in the current ship registration and renewal process by standardising processes on the blockchain.

“The Singapore flag is already a nexus for global maritime trade and innovation. The Singapore Shipping Association has been actively encouraging and promoting the adoption of new technologies to navigate the future of shipping,” said Steen Lund, SSA Council Member and Chairman of its Digital Transformation Committee.

“This opportunity to collaborate with the ICC and Perlin to co-create the world’s first blockchain system for preparation of ship registration not only brings solid efficiency gains and cost savings for our members but also the wider global maritime community.”

Singapore is the fifth largest registry in the world, with a fleet of around 4,500 ships totalling 91 million gross tons.

The ship registration process for the Singapore flag is currently done via the Marinet web portal, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has already said that it will lend its support to the initiative through knowledge sharing with the IERS ship registration process and exploration of an open Application Programming Interface (API) for the registration process.

“MPA is heartened that SSA is galvanising the maritime industry to come together to leverage relevant technologies to streamline the preparation process in ship registration. We are happy to show our support to such initiatives which can bring greater efficiencies to the shipping industry,” said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the MPA.

The IERS will be powered by Perlin’s Wavelet Protocol to create a blockchain E-register supporting self-executing smart contracts. Automated document checking and API integration with trusted data sources will also be incorporated, to remove the need for manual entry.

Once successfully implemented in Singapore, the ICC will support global adoption of the IERS standards, systems and technology among its international network of members, and will also assist with the submission of IERS in all international government tenders.

“The ICC recognises Singapore as a highly dynamic international hub for continuing industry innovation. Working with Perlin, our goal is for the IERS built in Singapore as the world’s first digital blockchain shipping registry solution to be showcased and adopted globally to help power the next 100 years of shipping-based trade across all industries,” said John Denton AO, Secretary General of the ICC.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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