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Customs resolves bulk of new trading portal glitches

HM Customs told Cayman 27 most of the software glitches that slowed the roll-out of its new electronic trading portal have been fixed. This, after some in the business community, put Customs on blast for rolling out a ‘buggy’ system as the countdown to Christmas is on.

“We had some glitches, as expected with any new technology that’s introduced,” said Deputy Collector of Customs Kevin Walton.

Now, he said the glitches, for the most part, have been resolved.

“Since then we have been successfully processing entries in COLS,” he said.

This week, one frustrated business owner shared her grievances with the new system in an email, complaining that it takes 25 to 30 minutes to complete a single declaration online with COLS.

“We’ve had the question: why this time of year? And in most cases a lot of the traders that we have are just one time traders, and most of them come around during this time of year. There is no ideal time really for customs to implement the system,” said Mr. Walton.

Other customers, like Ray Hydes of Hydes & Sons Ltd, have reported a better experience with COLS.

“It’s fairly easy, I have three or four representatives in my operation that’s got to clear my items, so I had to had a few additional people on my listing, but apart from that I think once they get the bugs worked out we need to become paperless right, that’s where we’re going, that’s where we need to be,” said Mr. Hydes.

Mr. Walton said for now Customs is allowing those who might be hesitant to embrace the new system to use the so-called legacy platform or the manual system. But that will be phased soon.

“We also encourage them to get registered now so when it comes to when they want to import again, they can sit anywhere remotely and submit their decorations to customs without having to directly coming to Customs and sit down for hours,” said Mr. Hydes.

Customs said some 400 traders have signed up under the new system, and around 200 import entries have been submitted so far in COLS.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at or send an email to

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