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Business Transformation and Innovation Division

The mission of Business Transformation and Innovation Division (BTID) is to actively engage in the future strategic vision of the Office of Trade (OT) to provide strong foundations of future technology investments which will facilitate, secure, and reduce costs related to the movement of cargo.  Assessing and analyzing new technologies within the parameters of CBP’s business needs, providing a futuristic vision on products and software so that the agency can proactively pursue changes in the technical environment.

Proofs of Concept

CBP's OT, Trade Transformation Office (TTO), BTID develops blockchain proofs of concept (POC) with trade partners serving on the Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC).  A POC is a short assessment used to demonstrate the feasibility of a specific concept or theory, utilizing a fail fast methodology.  At the completion of a proof of concept, a 360 degree assessment is completed, evaluating four primary areas: Legal, Policy, Technical, and Operational.

Completed Proofs of Concept

NAFTA/CAFTA Proof of Concept - In September 2018, CBP conducted the North American Free Trade Agreement/Central America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA/CAFTA) POC, which tested the application of blockchain technology for the entry summary submission process for NAFTA/CAFTA entries.  Select the complete assessment and report of the NAFTA/CAFTA POC to read more.

An assessment of the technology, along with the policy and legal issues raised by the POC, was conducted following the test.  It found that use of the blockchain achieved almost instantaneous communications between CBP and trade, improved documentation of receipt, and expedited processing for CBP.  Other benefits included:

  • Easier access to back-up documentation when required.
  • Easier access to importer/more direct communication; and
  • Enhanced targeting;
  • Full data (CO, entity data, etc.) received with initial submission of entry summary;
  • Potential issues captured early on;
  • Eliminated manual documentation requirements and duplicative data entry;

Intellectual Property Rights Proof of Concept - In September 2019, CBP conducted the Intellectual Property Rights POC, which tested a blockchain technology that facilitates shipments based on known licensing relationships (Licensor and sub licensee relationships).  Read the complete assessment and report of the IPR POC by selecting here.

DHS University Initiative on Blockchain - Study to look at Purchase Order to Entry

  • Architectural/technical implications
  • Combines shipping and entry data
  • Look at starting data from Purchase Order submission
  • Reverse engineer Entry/Entry Summary Processes to remove dependency on Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS)
  • All modes of transportation
  • The Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI) of the University of Houston recently published its final report on "Transforming Trade and Ensuring Global Supply Chain Security with Blockchain and Smart Contracts." 
  • BTI also recently published its final report on "Addressing Cross Border E-commerce Challenges with Emerging Technologies."


Current Collaborative Projects with the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), DHS Science and Technology (S&T)


  • Looking to track oil from spigot to importation
  • Properly apply NAFTA/CAFTA
  • Tests may be applicable to other like commodities


  • Looking to track steel from foreign manufacturer to the United States
  • Obtain certified mill test report at time of production
  • Deters alteration of mill test report through the supply chain
  • Proper determination of country of origin
  • Proper determination of HTS and collection of duties

Food Safety

  • Enhance the visibility of food supply chains (from farm to point of purchase)​​​
  • Enable the application of appropriate duties 
  • Reduce spoilage and waste
  • Reduce paper documents 
  • Expedite inspection times
  • Enhance targeting

Natural Gas

  • Improving the traceability of natural gas


  • Track small packages using Blockchain technology 
  • Ingest data from online marketplace entities
  • Receive pre-arrival and pre-release information
  • Provide transparency and the ability to stop illicit materials/safety of small package imports




Recent Speaking Engagements

  • CBP Update on Blockchain Initiatives at Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (ACSCC) sponsored by International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce - April 22, 2021
  • CBP/Netherlands Customs IT Overview - March 24, 2021
  • DHS/S&T/SVIP Interoperability Plug-Fest 2 - March 16-18, 2021
  • US and Netherlands Data Exchange with Singapore - February 5, 2021


Past Speaking Engagements

  • Petroleum Center's Quarterly Meeting: Petroleum and NG Phases 1-2 - October 23, 2020
  • US-Turkey Digital Dialogue Blockchain Discussion - October 14, 2020


Do you have feedback for the Business Transformation and Innovation Division? Or do you have an innovative idea or product that may benefit the trade mission? Please send ideas and feedback via email to


Last modified: 
April 27, 2021