The ITAIDE project is tackling customs, security and administration with a broad-front approach. It is just as well because it is an enormous problem, and an intractable one. The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) was set-up in the 1970s to create electronic documents for transport, yet 70% of documentation is on paper.
Customs has recently stepped up security which usually increases red tape and paperwork – an inherently error-prone process with names, quantities and other essential information getting mixed up. Incorrect data could even be vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
Customs and business are well aware of this administrative burden, as the EDI effort shows, but up to now attempts to solve the problem rested on replacing paper documents with electronic ones, rather than a fundamental redesign of the whole system.
ITAIDE is addressing this system redesign by tackling three fundamental aims of the e-Customs Strategy of the European Commission: creating a single customs window, establishing Authorised Economic Operators and creating interoperability across Europe.Not reinventing the wheel
Second, once fully up and running, some businesses will be registered as ‘Authorised Economic Operators’. “This [is] for operators who have sophisticated enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems who can show they can securely track their products,” says ITAIDE’s coordinator Yao-Hua Tan of Free University Amsterdam’s Information Management Group. This makes sense because customs and businesses share a common aim: intimate knowledge of the supply chain. “If businesses share this information with the tax office, then the tax office can outsource control to the businesses,” he explains.
It means businesses essentially become their own taxman. “There’s huge advantages for both customs and businesses. Customs essentially recruit businesses into their efforts, and businesses get a green-lane treatment where they are much less checked,” notes Tan.
Trickiest of all, though, will perhaps be developing interoperability between the widely diverse business and customs computer systems around Europe. Here, ITAIDE is not reinventing the wheel. “We’re not creating a new IT platform to work across Europe, rather we’re creating a suite of redesigned tools, web services and standards to make all the different systems work together.”
It is a tough technical challenge, but with 54 months 11 partners (including such big names as SAP, Nordea and IBM) in seven countries, and a total budget of €7 million, €5.8 million of which comes from the EU, ITAIDE has the resources to do it.Social and technical solution
There are frequent feedback loops of the ITAIDE results with EU-DG Taxation and Customs, UN/CEFACT and the World Customs Organisation. So what will a new customs service look like?
ITAIDE is just into its second year of work, but it has already developed systems that have been piloted successfully by customs services in Britain, the Netherlands and the USA. The project set up a 'Beer Living Lab', a live, small-scale test of some of the technologies they are working on. In the test, containers were fitted with TREC, tamper-resistant embedded controllers that are electronic seals for tracking the movement and delivery of a container.
“In the past, a document would be sent from the tax office to the exporter, the exporter to transporter, transporter to importer, from the importer to its home tax office, and then back to the tax office in the exporting country to show the consignment had arrived. With TREC, all that happens automatically,” remarks Tan. ITAIDE successfully demonstrated that technology could solve the problem while enhancing security.
Christian Nielsen | alfa
Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction