THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) said it is soliciting proposals for a system that will monitor in real time the transfer, storage and withdrawal of imports held in inventory at off-dock customs facilities and warehouses (CFWs).

In an advisory published in a newspaper yesterday, the BoC listed the qualifications for potential participants in the procurement exercise as Philippine-registered service providers operating in the Philippines for five consecutive years.

It also stipulated that potential bidders must supply a system compatible and capable of interfacing with the bureau’s cargo clearance process — both the current E2M Customs system or the upcoming Customs Processing system.

“The Bureau’s online inventory system for off-dock or off-terminal container freight stations will employ advanced technology in order to monitor the real-time status of import goods transferred, stored and withdrawn in the off-dock CFW to guard against possible revenue leakages arising from discrepancies and misdeclarations of quantity and gross weight,” it read.

Potential suppliers must not have been blacklisted by previous partners or had any of their services terminated by previous partners and should be proficient in cloud technology, which will be used when the system is deployed to all Customs collection offices and sub ports.

The BoC also stipulated a web-based with a real-time dashboard. It must display the status of cargo online, provide a portal for consignees to track cargoes from discharge date to release date, and issue pro forma invoices. The system must also be able to provide secure access to the application and maintain an audit trail for all activities, with such records to be held for at least five years.

The BoC also specified the recording of details like the trucking company assigned to move the shipment and information about the driver; the capture of photos of the sealed container and its contents.

“The subscription to the Cloud Solution shall be shouldered by the service provider for the duration of the contract,” it said.

The service provider will also have to train stakeholders, provide 24/7 support to users in the bureau and other parties and conduct weekly backups of the database. — Beatrice M. Laforga