News / Roll-out of new UK customs declaration system too slow as Brexit looms

first_imgID 121551418 © Piyamas Dulmunsumphun | By Gavin van Marle 17/10/2018 UK freight industry sources are becoming increasingly anxious that roll-out of the country’s recently introduced Customs Declaration System (CDS) is not quick enough and could throw the country’s international trade into chaos in the event of a no-deal Brexit.At the recent annual general meeting of the UK’s Association of Freight Software Suppliers (AFSS), it transpired that since the HMRC announced on 14 August that CDS had gone live, just one software supplier – Descartes – had managed to submit declarations through the new system.The Loadstar understands that Descartes has since sent just 15 declarations through the system, one of which was “lost”.CDS is the new system for managing import and export customs declarations, replacing HMRC’s legacy Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. Descartes confirmed it sent its first import submission in early September.center_img However, in its latest CDS advisory, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) said it was working with 57 software suppliers across the UK providing custom entry systems to forwarders and shippers, but said it was unable to disclose their respective states of readiness, due to commercial confidentiality.However, BIFA director general Robert Keen told The Loadstar: “It did go live, but at present only a small number of declarations are being sent via CDS and tend to be postponed accounting declarations rather than frontier transactions.“Software houses are amending their packages and it’s envisaged that they will switch their users when all testing and so on is achieved. So switchover may be by software house readiness – but it’s a bit too early to be certain. CHIEF will stay running until all are over to CDS.”It is understood that BIFA and AFSS are setting up a technology group to identify issues surrounding the roll-out of CDS, but forwarders appear increasingly concerned that problems could exacerbate the potential trading confusion produced by Brexit – especially if the UK crashes out of the EU in March without a trading agreement, which would see a huge increase in the number of import and export customs declarations.One forwarder said: “This is absolutely key to Brexit – if we are not able to do customs entries, we simply won’t be able to trade.“You can see currently when CHIEF goes down how quickly it creates backlogs at ports and airports, and the frustration at the moment is that nothing seems to be being shared with us. We don’t know what is being done to prevent worst-case scenarios.”These fears, privately expressed to The Loadstar by trade sources, have coincided with the emergence of a letter dated 2 October from the chair of the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, MP Meg Hillier, to HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson, which berates HMRC for its lack of communication with the industry.She wrote: “In July, I set out my committee’s concerns about the lack of HMRC’s communications with businesses which may need to start making customs declarations in the event of a no-deal Brexit.“I am both concerned and disappointed that nearly two months on you have made little progress. You gave us no assurance that HMRC has a plan to ensure that businesses are aware of what they will need to do. We are particularly concerned about the 100,000 small traders that HMRC cannot engage directly with, as you do not know who they are.”And she added that the postponed accounting declarations of the type that CDS had managed to process would be threatened in the event of a no-deal Brexit, because it would usher-in earlier VAT payment terms for importers, leaving CDS unable to cope with postponed accounting.Ms Hiller wrote: “To enable postponed accounting to be introduced, you said both HMRC and software developers would need to make further changes to systems by March 2019. You told us that HMRC had just begun to engage with software developers to understand what impact postponed accounting will have on them.“Within HMRC, developing the new functionality needed for postponed accounting will require you to divert resources, such as from the later release of CDS.“The potential move to postponed accounting is something that was foreseeable and it was reasonable to expect you to have been better prepared for it,” she added.last_img read more

President of Jamaica’s Nurses Association Urges Nurses To Be “Resilient” Amid…

first_imgPhoto credit: World Health Organization (WHO) KINGSTON, Jamaica – The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to most countries in the world has not only exposed poor hygiene practices, the inability of people to practise social distancing and the general disregard to national regulations, but also the lack of respect for healthcare professionals, particularly nurses.Many people would be quick to acknowledge the importance of doctors in a health crisis, without giving nurses the credit that they deserve.In Jamaica, since the first case of COVID-19 was reported, nurses in hospitals and clinics have complained about being scorned and discriminated against by some residents. Operators of public transportation have refused to carry nurses out of fear that they may have the virus. Many nurses have resorted to wearing plain clothes to work, instead of their uniforms, in a response to being scorned in public. But the treatment at the healthcare facilities is not much better. Nurses have also complained about being deliberately coughed on and sneezed on by patients, and even being rudely sprayed with Lysol, alcohol or other unknown substances, by people who enter their places of work.In times of a pandemic, people often react out of ignorance. And the prevalence of “fake news” has only made the job of nurses’ even harder. The more rumors and gossip spread, in relation to COVID-19 and frontline health professionals, is the more nursed are discriminated by the very people that they are paid to protect.President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), Carmen Johnson, urged Jamaican nurses to “fight the good fight” and continue to do their part in containing the virus and protecting the country’s residents. “I want to say to our members, continue to do what you do. Continue to prepare yourself to be a part of the greater fight that you will have to fight and the greater crisis that may result, because we have to play our part and do it well,” she told the Jamaica Observer.CARMEN JOHNSON HAS HAD TO “FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT”Carmen Johnson, who had been head of the Nurses Association of Jamaica since 2017 has also had to “fight the good fight”. Since the beginning of her tenure, Johnson has had to deal with a global health pandemic, a local dengue crisis, rampant sexual harassment, mass migration and unsatisfactory salary negotiations. However, Johnson has said that she believed that nursing was her calling.While studying at Knox College, she wanted to pursue sociology, but the care she showed for the sick and elderly at her community church in Clarendon eventually translated into a career. She officially became a nurse in the late 80s and by November 1990, she was being assigned to the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital. The devoted Christian and mother currently in her 50s, earned the nickname of “Devotional Sister”, after spending over 20 years at the hospital where she would readily have devotions and prayers with the patients.In 2017, Johnson replaced Janet Coore-Farr as president of the association. Johnson said it was “a dream come true”, while many NAJ members agreed that she was indeed the right person for the job.last_img read more

Federer advances to Rogers Cup final

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Roger Federer, Rogers Cup After knocking off world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round, twice champion Andy Murray in the quarters and Dimitrov in the semifinals, the powerful Frenchman will need to produce one more upset to deny Federer a third Canadian title.It will be Federer’s 120th career final while Tsonga will be playing for a title for the 20th time.Federer said Tsonga would be on a high after his series of upsets in Toronto.“I think it was a matter of time that he got it all together again, especially in terms of confidence,” said the second-seeded Swiss, who is looking for his third title of the season.“So for him to beat Murray and Djokovic … it’s a really good effort for him and it’s going to give him loads of confidence going into the finals.“He just can overpower guys, serve up a storm and then play really aggressive with his forehand and also be solid in his backhand.“You think you’re in a safe place sometimes in the rally, and he takes one step and, you know, just hits it and the point is over.”Federer, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday, was in imperious form, dropping just four points on his serve in taking the opening set.The 17-time grand slam winner kept up the pressure in the second with a break to open the set and was never seriously challenged, running his record against Lopez to 11-0.“I think I played extremely well in the first set and was able to make Feliciano probably over-serve and over-hit a little bit and make him feel the pressure from the baseline,” said Federer.“Second set probably wasn’t as good in quality but I got the break early.”Dimitrov, rated one of the top young talents on the ATP Tour, had lost all three head-to-head meetings with Tsonga but with three titles under his belt this season stepped onto a sunny center court as the favorite.The scrappy Bulgarian traded shots with the muscular Frenchman in a tight opening set but could not convert any of his four break opportunities.Tsonga, who also has a reputation as a battler and bears a resemblance to a young Muhammad Ali, showed his stomach for the fight from the opening serve and his determination was rewarded with the only break of the first set, going up 5-4 then holding serve for a 1-0 lead.The second set was not as close, Tsonga breaking in the third game to take control and then again to clinch the match, raising his fist into the air and shadow boxing his way out to center court where he acknowledged the crowd.“I’m waiting for this moment since a couple of years now,” said Tsonga, who has enjoyed success on the Canadian hardcourts, reaching the semifinals in three of four visits but advanced to the finals only once.“It’s good because I always believe in myself during all these years and all this week where I lost against those guys and finally I get a little reward.” Putting the ball in play: Roger Federer serves against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez during their Rogers Cup semifinal match on Saturday in Toronto. | REUTERS IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5center_img KEYWORDS RELATED PHOTOS TORONTO – Roger Federer eased into the final of the Rogers Cup with a 6-3 6-4 win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez on Saturday, putting the Swiss maestro on the brink of a landmark 80th career title.Standing between Federer and another trophy is Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who claimed his third straight upset by dispatching seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-3.last_img read more

J.B. Smoove caught in the web of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

first_imgABC/Jeff Neira(LOS ANGELES) — J.B. Smoove is headed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.The Hollywood Reporter has learned the comedian is set to star in the upcoming Sony Spider-Man sequel, Spider-Man: Far from Home. The studio has yet to officially announce what role Smoove will play, but the Curb Your Enthusiasm actor joins Jake Gyllenhaal, who has signed on to play the villain Mysterio.Tom Holland is set to reprise his role as Spider-Man, in addition to Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya who are also back in their roles as Adrian Toomes/Vulture, Aunt May, Ned, and M.J., respectively. Spider-Man: Far from Home will come to theaters July 5, 2019. The movie will be released by Sony Pictures, but is being co-produced by Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by parent company Disney.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more