Cabinet Office minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe told a technology summit that ongoing pilots trialling the digitalisation of cross-border trade could save businesses up to £225m a year in reduced administration, if scaled up.

Speaking at the ‘Border Strategy 2025: Opportunities for Tech Companies & Consortia’ event hosted by techUK, Neville-Rolfe referred to the ‘Ecosystem of Trust’ pilots that have used new technologies such as smart seals, GPS trackers and temperature trackers to create real-time data about goods movements.

Government agencies can use this information to better monitor goods movements and make quicker risk assessments as to whether consignments require checks at the border.

The government oversaw six Ecosystem of Trust pilots earlier this year and
in her speech, the minister said the pilots were successful and showed that the use of readily available supply chain data could reduce the administrative burden around customs declarations processes by 40%. This could potentially save traders an average annual cost of up to £225m when scaled up.

The scheme could potentially use supply chain data to fulfil as much as 80% of customs declarations requirements leading to an 80% reduction in costs, equating to an annual saving of £365m a year for traders over a 10-year period.