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More News In Brief

Published:Saturday | August 16, 2014 | 12:00 AM
  • Technology-driven system to speed up Customs operations

Jamaica Customs Agency has launched a major, technology-driven system, aimed at streamlining and reducing the processes involved in cross-border import, export, and trans-shipment of goods.

The Automated System for Customs Data, which is being implemented at a cost of US$4 million, is expected to speed up operations at the ports by fully automating export and import transactions. It allows for real-time updates on new tax regulations to minimise errors and delays in the computation of port taxes and also guarantees transparency, uniformity/standardisation and consistency of customs procedures.

It is expected to significantly reduce the cost of importation and doing business, to local and foreign investors.

Speaking at the launch at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston on Wednesday, Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips welcomed the system, noting that "the country needs the additional revenues which can flow from this".

  • Bunting commends FLA for reducing backlog

The Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA) has performed commendably over the last year, clearing a longstanding backlog of thousands of applications and reducing the application processing time from about three years down to six months.

Minister of National Security Peter Bunting made the disclosure during Wednesday's official opening of the FLA's new offices at 91A Old Hope Road, St Andrew.

He commended the authority for the credible performance, despite operating in less than ideal conditions and with the same staff complement.

  • Pastor honoured for 37 years' service to St James

Accomplished Minister of Religion, 74-year-old Reverend Leroy Sterling, who has served in communities across St James for 37 years, has been presented with the Spirit of Independence Award by the St James Parish Council.

He was among eight recipients who were recognised for their dedicated and meritorious service in the development of their communities, during the St James Independence Civic Ceremony, held at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, earlier this month.

  • 'PM must end her silence', says Senator

Opposition Spokesman on Justice and Legal Reform Senator Alexander Williams has questioned the silence of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Mario Deane while in state custody.

Senator Williams said: "The tragic nature of Mario's death has enraged Jamaicans at home and abroad. Jamaicans of all walks of life have been moved to speak out and protest. The prime minister's silence is unacceptable, and to label her silence as a mere leadership style is just not good enough."

He noted that by contrast, the death of a black teenager in Missouri had elicited prompt condemnation from the president of the United States even though he was on his vacation. "The circumstances under which Mario died warrant condemnation or comment from Jamaica House," he said.