The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is developing a risk-mitigation tool, which is a scalable solution that will enable governments and border authorities to reopen cross-border travel safely and efficiently. This tool is the ICC AOk Pass. The ICC is looking at the adoption of a global standard for safe international travel to protect lives and livelihood, leveraging the ICC AOk pass as a reliable digital solution that is an alternative to lengthy and expensive quarantines. This ICC AOk Pass is interoperable and would be a reliable tool for individuals to certify whether they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and/or tested negative.
Spain has introduced its plan to safely restart international travel built on a mutual recognition of the validation process for test results in different countries. The concept includes a reference to the ICC AOk Pass as an example of a successful electronic verification tool that would enable this system to function across borders and with absolute respect for the users’ privacy through blockchain technology. The city of Girona has started to adopt the system. Air France has initiated a pilot program of the ICC AOk Pass to improve its customers’ experience and streamline the airport journey. Similarly, Italy is pursuing to implement its AOk Pass nationwide.
Governments may adapt health and safety Covid-19 test requirements or proof of vaccine where protocols for cross-border travels are simplified, standardized and adopted. Said pass involves the uploading of accurate vaccine or testing information, which may be scanned through a QR code. The process eliminates physical contact or document exchange between traveler and verifying authorities. The use of blockchain technology, on the other hand, ensures and protects any information from fraud or misuse.
The ICC AOk Pass will allow the gradual opening of borders for traveling to move toward pre-pandemic levels. Restrictions imposed by governments may still be there, but the traveling experience may not be as difficult or impossible as it is right now. The Pass can be used in international ports of entry, business events or even venues.
In a zoom meeting of stakeholders, I sought the ICC’s intervention in getting the system adopted by more governments, particularly the Middle Eastern region. Such a system augurs well for the millions of overseas Filipino workers in the Gulf Area or those who have to transit through several points. Undoubtedly, the Pass will facilitate an efficient entry or exit from one travel point to another.
The ICC Philippines will have its task in convincing the Philippine government for the adoption of the ICC AOk Pass. Such a Pass may be compared to the successful implementation of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Business Travel Card system, where travel to member nations of APEC is afforded the facility and ease to cardholders. Considering the global impact that Covid-19 has caused, the adoption of health standards and protocols among nations will take the ICC Aok Pass to a higher notch than an APEC card.