Customs is reigniting an effort started before the COVID-19 pandemic to digitise tariff management at New Zealand's borders.
The heart of the project is a record called the "working tariff document", a critical tool for border management, revenue collection, government policy implementation, the production of official trade statistics and the sharing of information with external stakeholders and users.
However, data and information related to the tariff ecosystem is currently held or communicated in a combination of hard copy documents and around ten different digital formats. Major elements exist in PDF and Excel formats, as well as in other Customs systems such as CusMod and the Trade Single Window.
"We need an electronic tariff management system to easily, securely, and accurately access, search, manage, update, share and associate tariff information and related content," a registration of interest (ROI) document released last week said.
"Customs has not pre-conceived a solution and is open to being informed by suppliers of the best approach."
An ecosystem of agency and private sector service provider users also has to be accommodated. Interested parties include customs brokers, freight forwarders and importers, as well as the Ministry of Primary Industries, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Trade.
Suppliers are invited to present one or multiple options to address the need and respondents can work independently, in partnership or in another collaborative model as part of the ROI.
Customs said it was open to any solution model: delivered as a product – a solution provided by the supplier and hosted and run by Customs, a managed service or something else.
This delivery approach may change at the tenders stage as a result of what is learned from the ROI.
Customs engaged the market on digitising the tariff in 2021 through a request for information, but due to COVID-related priorities was not able to progress the project further.
in January this year, the agency tapped Datacom to help ramp up its cyber security game ahead of the reintroduction of the New Zealand Traveller Declaration.