The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Singapore tech start-up Perlin have signed a memorandum of understanding to build an advanced digital blockchain ship registration preparation system for international adoption*
Called the International E-Registry of Ships (IERS), it is an entirely new digital blockchain-based solution to streamline, standardise and improve the currently laborious ship registration and renewal process. Immediate advantages will include significant reductions in operating costs, timing required, human error and fraud.
SSA council member and chairman of the digital transformation committee Steen Brodsgaard Lund said “The Singapore Shipping Association has been actively encouraging and promoting the adoption of new technologies to navigate the future of shipping. This opportunity to collaborate with the ICC and Perlin to co-create the world’s first blockchain system for preparing 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 amounting to 91M gross tonnes. It is expected the collaboration will benefit the efficiency of the ship registration process for the Singapore flag, which currently uses the Marinet web portal. Such a solution will also benefit other ship registries who are using manual and paper-based processes.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is supporting the industry-led initiative through knowledge sharing of the IERS ship registration process and exploring an open application programming interface (API) interface in the registration process. Port Authority of Singapore’s chief executive Quah Ley Hoon said “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.”
IERS will be powered by Perlin’s Wavelet Protocol to create a blockchain E-register powered by self-executing smart contracts, a streamlined relationship management platform, and vastly simplified data entry user systems. Perlin’s chief executive officer Dorjee Sun explained that automated document checking and API integration from trusted data sources will also render inefficient manual systems currently used effectively obsolete. “As a blockchain company focused on harnessing positive technological disruption, we are greatly honoured to be working with key partners like the ICC, MPA, SSA, and shipping companies to ensure Singapore remains at the forefront of digital innovation in port and maritime infrastructure. Using our pioneering Wavelet Protocol, the most performant public blockchain in the world, we can make the new IERS a world standard for best practice.”
Once successfully implemented in Singapore, the ICC will provide active and ongoing support for global adoption of the IERS standards, systems and technology developed by Perlin among its vast international network of members, affiliated chambers and other business networks. The ICC will also assist with the submission of Singapore’s IERS in all international government tenders.
ICC secretary general John Denton AO said “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.”
Aside from the ICC and Perlin, the IERS is championed by key stakeholders, such as the SSA, DNV GL, Zeaborn, Pacific International Lines, Executive Ship Management, and a growing list of others. Consolidating Singapore’s position as a pioneer and global centre for innovation in vessel registration and renewal, it is likely that other jurisdictions will seek to integrate the IERS transformative digital platform to access the very substantial available benefits.
*The Danish Maritime Authority announced a blockchain digitalising the ship trade and ship registration processes in May 2018.
Will blockchain benefit ship optimisation projects? Find out at the London Optimised Ship Forum on 11 December 2019.