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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 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

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

In-Progress Proofs of Concept

  1. Intellectual Property Rights Proof of Concept
  • POC to facilitate shipments based on known licensing relationships through blockchain (Licensor and sub licensee relationships)
  1. Verifiable Credentials
  • Study to look at legitimizing a business or person via automation
    • Blockchain Interoperability standard that will help ensure legitimacy of a business via 3rd party consensus
    • CBP acting in oversight role
  1. 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

Upcoming Proof of Concepts

  1. Pipeline Proof of Concept – tentative Summer 2019
  • Looking to track oil from spigot to importation
  • Properly apply NAFTA/CAFTA
  • Tests may be applicable to other like commodities


Upcoming Speaking Engagements

WESCCON – October 10-13, 2019

Recent Speaking Engagements

American Association of Exporters and Importers & the Foreign Trade Association Western Regional Conference – September 25-26, 2019

National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc.  Government Affairs Conference on the 21st Century Update –  September 23, 2019

LogiChem 2019 – September 9-10, 2019

Innovation Summit – August 6-7, 2019

  • BTID hosted an Innovation Summit where we discussed what we learned in the past year, and discussed what other partner offices and agencies are doing in the realms of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics   

Petrochemical Supply Chain & Logistics 2019 Research – June 11-12, 2019

10x10 Day – June 4, 2019

  • BTID hosted the first-ever Office of Trade Proof of Concept pitch event. The 10x10 Blockchain proposal day was a great success, and had a total of 13 companies participating in the event.  Presentations were scored by both the Government and trade member attendees.
  • Walmart’s pitch placed first and focused on Food Safety as well as collaboration with additional government agencies. The proposal ideas were rated on Impact, Viability and Strategic Alignment.
  • As next steps, BTID will develop the Food Safety program POC in conjunction with DHS through their Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).  BTID is also considering combining ideas from the other presentations to create additional proof of concept tests that can be done jointly since several were similar.

NCBFAA Panel – April 14-17, 2019

Futurist Trips

FedEx – Memphis, TN on August 27, 2019

Walmart – Bentonville, AR on August 29, 2019

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: 
February 25, 2020