DEFenD: A Secure and Privacy-Preserving Decentralized System for Freight Declaration

Daniel Vos, Leon Overweel, Wouter Raateland, Jelle Vos, Matthijs Bijman, Max Pigmans, Zekeriya Erkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


Millions of shipping containers filled with goods move around the world every day. Before such a container may enter a trade bloc, the customs agency of the goods’ destination country must ensure that it does not contain illegal or mislabeled goods. Due to the high volume of containers, customs agencies make a selection of containers to audit through a risk analysis procedure. Customs agencies perform risk analysis using data sourced from a centralized system that is potentially vulnerable to manipulation and malpractice. Therefore we propose an alternative: DEFenD, a decentralized system that stores data about goods and containers in a secure and privacy-preserving manner. In our system, economic operators make claims to the network about goods they insert into or remove from containers, and encrypt these claims so that they can only be read by the destination country’s customs agency. Economic operators also make unencrypted claims about containers with which they interact. Unencrypted claims can be validated by the entire network of customs agencies. Our key contribution is a data partitioning scheme and several protocols that enable such a system to utilize blockchain and its powerful validation principle, while also preserving the privacy of the involved economic operators. Using our protocol, customs agencies can improve their risk analysis and economic operators can get through customs with less delay. We also present a reference implementation built with Hyperledger Fabric and analyze to what extent our implementation meets the requirements in terms of privacy-preservation, security, scalability, and decentralization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st ERCIM Blockchain Workshop 2018
PublisherEuropean Society for Socially Embedded Technologies
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event1st ERCIM Blockchain Workshop 2018 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 8 May 20189 May 2018

Publication series

NameReports of the European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies
ISSN (Print)2510-2591


Workshop1st ERCIM Blockchain Workshop 2018


  • System security
  • Blockchain
  • Freight declaration
  • Customs Auditing
  • Logistics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'DEFenD: A Secure and Privacy-Preserving Decentralized System for Freight Declaration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this