The Korea Herald

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Korea to adopt AI, big data, blockchain for customs service

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : March 7, 2018 - 15:42

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The Korea Customs Service will adopt advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain, for its customs administration in response to growing trade and ecommerce volume, according to the agency on Wednesday.

“Adopting new technologies to respond to the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is an overriding agenda for us as trade form is becoming more complicated,” said Kim Yung-moon, commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, during a meeting attended by Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon.

The number of trade transactions -- both exports and imports -- in Korea has increased nearly eight times from 3 million in 1990 to 27 million last year, according to the agency. 


The Korea Customs Service plans to set up a big data analysis center to improve timeliness and accuracy of identifying illegal items utilizing big data technologies. The agency will build a platform by combining customs administration of all data within the organization and adopting related hardware and software.

The customs agency will also set up a customs clearance system powered by artificial intelligence to improve screening and examining high risk items. It will adopt AI-powered X-rays to prevent the entry of illegal items including drugs through deep learning technologies.

The agency will also build information networks connecting subjects of supply chain through blockchain technology and share information real time to prevent trade finance fraud and smuggling. A blockchain is a security technology to reduce hacking risk by storing data in a decentralized way instead of storing it in a central server.

Intelligent closed-circuit televisions and drones will also be adopted for safer borderline surveillance, the agency said.

On the same day, the agency demonstrated its new borderline surveillance technologies. The demonstration was done to identify and trace ships and customs transports having a high possibility of hiding illegal items.

During the demonstration, the agency identified ships going off course through its integrated port surveillance system and traced them through drones and guard ships. It also identified vehicles‘ abnormal moving route through CCTVs and traced the illegal transfer of items using drones.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)