Discussion paper

The rapid transition of global supply chains to data-driven, digital systems is placing new and increasing pressures on product conformity systems, their relevance, and the ability to deliver benefit through international trade income growth and the economic wellbeing of people.


  • There is a growing gap between digital product traceability and the traceability of associated product conformity and credentialing information

  • Efforts to simplify trade systems require that the national product conformity infrastructure and supporting systems are responsive and of high integrity – enabling rapid verification of credentials and detection of fraudulent or erroneous claims; and

  • Use of recognised standards for the support of digital data exchange, traceability and interoperability is now critical

This discussion paper identifies that the common factor among these challenges is the absence of a standardised framework for the digitalisation of conformance and accreditation processes - including the necessary information architecture and common language to identify, capture and share data of relevance to national product conformance.

This paper puts forward a broad framework, rather than a specific technological implementation. The framework represents a general structure aligned with global data standards that can accommodate different supporting technologies (for example, blockchain, non-fungible tokens or verifiable credentials).

The structure of the framework can also accommodate existing industry-specific approaches and schemes by assigning globally recognised identification keys to track elements such as products, certificates, and companies/ entities. The application of ISO/IEC ratified global standards brings benefits beyond those that can be achieved using local or proprietary systems that do not include any common data structures.

Importantly, the proposed framework is not intended as a replacement or alternative for any existing conformity or approval schemes. The framework strengthens and simplifies the referential integrity of existing programs. It leverages an established system of global data standards used extensively by Australian industry and internationally for identifying, capturing, and sharing information through international supply chains.

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