Watch the recorded briefing below:

Background

The border plays an integral role in ensuring the security and prosperity of the United Kingdom, and in protecting the Government’s revenue collection and in promoting global trade. 

The Government’s 2025 UK Border Strategy sets out our vision to have the world’s most effective border: to promote UK growth and prosperity by facilitating international trade from businesses of all sizes, while improving the collection of revenue owed at the border and closing the tax gap. It also announces our intention to work with industry to harness innovative technology to help UK businesses take full advantage of new trading relationships with the rest of the world.

‘Ecosystems of trust’

The most advanced borders in the world increasingly rely on the use of technology and data to assure movements across the border. This automated assurance and reliability can help to build and ensure trust between actors, creating an “Ecosystem of Trust” that could allow a great deal of processes to move away from the physical frontier. Such an ecosystem is built on three pillars: technological capabilities, real time data and trusted relationships.

For a compliant and trusted trader, an Ecosystem of Trust could deliver a more frictionless import/export experience and would enable government enforcement agencies to be more focused on those who are deemed to be a higher risk. For government agencies, operating in an Ecosystem of Trust would enable them to deploy front line resources more efficiently, and to disrupt legitimate traffic less.

Management of the border is already based on a good deal of trust. We want to enable this ecosystemic approach to be leveraged in a safe and secure way to reduce the complexities involved in border movements, to provide commercial benefits to those traders who are compliant and put the UK on a competitive footing with those of other nations who are already deploying technology and policy to deliver these benefits.

Enabling this approach will require collaboration between public and private sectors, between states, and between different types of new technology e.g. – Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Distributed Ledger Technology, Smart Contracts et al. We are aware that in those states where such ecosystems are already emerging, governments have played a significant role in catalysing innovation adoption through ensuring policy, standard setting and operations are aligned.

Pilot 

Through this pilot, border agencies will work with industry to create a broad, end-to-end pilot, to definitively test whether new capabilities across supply chain security and technology, providing greater assurance of goods crossing the border, can unlock world-leading Trusted Trader schemes and develop further simplified customs declaration processes that are able to facilitate greater trade without jeopardising security.

The pilot comes at an opportune time: while the design of the Single Trade Window is being discussed with industry in readiness for key decisions about its functions. These decisions will include questions around which capabilities it will have related to the Government’s visibility of supply chain data with all the benefits that might bring.

The application stage for this pilot will follow two phases: 

  1. Companies or consortia express their interest to the Cabinet Office to take part in a pilot. Applicants will be invited to further workshops and events to explore their proposals.
  2. Consortia will then be given a period of time to put forward their technical proposals for piloting the Ecosystem of Trust concept. These will be evaluated by government officials and a number of the proposals will be selected to be piloted for six months during 2022.

Workshop

This workshop was an opportunity for stakeholders who have expressed an interest in taking part in the pilot to hear from government officials on the desired outcomes, logistics, and specifics of the pilot. The workshop provided the opportunity to hear from a similar HMRC pilot from how this approach has worked in practice. Attendees whether taking part in the workshop as a consortium or individual organisations were encouraged to pre-record a “pitch” to attract other partners in or offer their services to established consortia. 

 

A recorded briefing (not a recording of the workshop) is available above.

Support

For more information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/piloting-an-ecosystem-of-trust-expression-of-interest

For questions and to submit expressions of interest, please contact border.innovation@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 

For support with the workshop and consortia building please contact enquiries@ktn-uk.org