THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is adopting new technologies from New Zealand and Singapore to enable importers and brokers to electronically transact business with the bureau via the internet.
Crimson Logic Philippines and Zeus Networks, Inc. recently signed an agreement with the BOC to develop and implement internet-based applications and solutions to allow importers and brokers to submit and apply for import and export entry declarations through the internet.
Crimson Logic, previously the Singapore Network Services, developed the internet-based E-government system for the Singapore government. Zeus, meanwhile, has a tie-up with Electronic Commerce of New Zealand which developed the automated Customs system for the New Zealand Customs.
Customs commissioner Antonio M. Bernardo said the project will allow importers and brokers to submit and receive confirmation on manifest, document, assessment, payment, tracking and online release of shipments.
The two companies will be accredited as non-exclusive service provider and offer their e-customs services directly to brokers and importers that will, in effect, empower the bureau's stakeholders to electronically transact business.
&;Conceptually, BOC stakeholders, specially small-and-medium scale enterprises or one-time importers (balikbayans and OFWs) can outsource their IT needs on a pay-per-usage arrangement without having to invest or having access to expensive computer software connectivity,&; Bernardo said.
The companies will likewise explore and implement the use of wireless, mobile and cellular phone technologies in relation to the project which would allow importers and brokers to transact business with the bureau even on the move.
&;They will also automate the electronic submission and acquisition of permits and clearances with other government agencies,&; Bernardo said.
The project, which is at no cost to the bureau, will also provide to the existing modes of documents for submission to the bureau, direct trade input electronic data interchange through value-added networks, and the entry encoding center.
Bernardo said the project will be carried out immediately following the signing of a memorandum of understanding. The bureau is now processing requirements for the release of a P500-million grant which will be used to replace aging computer equipment and upgrade software.