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Singapore Shipping Association builds blockchain-based e-registry

A BLOCKCHAIN-BASED ship registration preparation system for international adoption is in the works, with hopes that it could reduce time, costs and the incidence of error and fraud in the ship-registration process.

The Singapore Shipping Association is working with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Singapore tech startup Perlin to build the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS) system, which they hope will "drastically improve the currently laborious ship registration and renewal process", a joint press release said on Monday.

It added that the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is supporting the initiative by sharing the IERS ship-registration process and exploring an open Application Programming Interface in the registration process.

IERS will be powered by Perlin's Wavelet, a directed acyclic graph-based protocol, to create a blockchain e-register, which will run on self-executing smart contracts, a streamlined relationship management platform and simplified data entry user systems, the release said.

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Singapore is the fifth-largest registry in the world with a fleet of around 4,500 ships amounting to 91 million gross tonnes. The three organisations said the new system could improve the efficiency of the ship-registration process for the Singapore flag, which is currently done via the Marinet web portal. It could also benefit other ship registries that are using manual and paper-based processes.

Once the IERS is successfully implemented in Singapore, the ICC will push for global adoption of the IERS standards among its international network of members and affiliated chambers, the release said. The ICC will also help submit the 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," John Denton, ICC's secretary-general, said.