We flew into Cork Airport early this morning after circling around County Cork for what seemed like half an hour. Our Ryanair flight went from Carrigaline to Fermoy, passing Blarney a few times, I think. My son was watching Google Maps on his phone, and we all noticed the banking of the plane as it traversed the skies around the greatest city in Ireland.
When we eventually did come down to land, my son wondered why there was still cloud outside when suddenly the runway was there outside, and we experienced a not too rough landing. Deep fog lay over the runway and airport. We couldn’t see any buildings as we roared down the runway but, brakes and reverse engines were applied harder than I remember in a long time, making me imagine the pilot had landed too far down the runway! A cheerful, “Welcome to Cork!” was announced shortly after, and the plane taxied off the runway to a stop. Phew.
We were last off the plane. The rush to get off, only to stand around for luggage and passport control, doesn’t make sense does it?
There’s an old derelict hotel in the village of Killeens near where I live and this evening it went up in flames, spewing a huge mass of ugly smoke into the air. Tonight’s bonfire night in Cork so it’s obviously done maliciously.
Paul Reidy posted photos from the scene on his Facebook account. I’m surprised there’s anything left to burn there as it’s been set alight multiple times in the past. The place should be demolished and something productive done with the site.
Here’s a video from someone who was going to film it for a Cork history video.
My wife and I both noticed a new “VO LTE1” icon next to the 4G symbol on our phones this morning.
Apparently that’s Voice Over LTE.
Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) is an LTE high-speed wireless communication standard for mobile phones and data terminals, including Internet of things (IoT) devices and wearables. VoLTE has up to three times more voice and data capacity than older 3GUMTS and up to six times more than 2GGSM. It uses less bandwidth because VoLTE’s packet headers are smaller than those of unoptimized VoIP/LTE. VoLTE calls are usually charged at the same rate as other calls.
The west coast of Ireland woke up to severe winds this morning as Storm Eunice hit the country. After a lull at 7am wind speeds picked up again and the trees behind my home were swaying alarmingly. Three roads out of Blarney have been blocked by falling trees already. Some who believe the storm isn’t that serious have commented that many of those trees were old trees with pre-existing conditions and they were going to fall anyway.
Cork has been devastated by the storm. In the photo above you can see a poor cow that has been blown into a tree in Emmett Place near the Opera House. Emergency services will shortly be on the scene.
If you live in the EU and bought cheap goods from China or anywhere outside the EU you may have been surprised when you didn’t have to pay customs duties or VAT on the product.
To be honest, the extra payment required by An Post/a third party carrier to pay for more expensive goods is probably what surprised most people buying from outside the European Union. That can be €10 to €15 or more.
Well, from July 1st you may have to pay that fee regardless of how much the goods you bought are. If you’re looking for a cheap phone case, or book or whatever from the UK you better do it ASAP because if it’s delivered here (Ireland or elsewhere in the EU) after July 1st you’ll end up paying extra.
The Irish Revenue website has a page explaining how it works and it’s not pretty.
From 1 July 2021, import VAT will be payable on all goods entering the EU, irrespective of their value. VAT will always be collected, irrespective of the amount due. If you order goods valued at €22 or less before 1 July 2021, that arrive after that date, you may have to pay VAT.
The revenue.ie page does not mention that non-EU sellers can charge VAT at point-of-sale. A paragraph on this page explains how this works:
The EU has therefore agreed to scrap the import VAT exempt threshold. Instead, it will require EU and non-EU sellers to charge VAT at the point of sale for consignments of €150 or below. This will create a more efficient ‘Green Channel’, with quick and easy customs clearance. Note – the delivery agent may still act as the import VAT collector (see below).
Sellers will charge VAT at the rate of their customer’s EU country of residence at the point-of-sale on the website. Sellers can use the delivery address of the customer to determine the country VAT rate. No VAT is due at the point of import in this case.
This already happens for digital sales, such as those for games and software.
I suspect this change to the VAT rate will also apply to UK magazine subscriptions since periodicals are charged(PDF) 9% VAT in Ireland while they are 0% in the UK. If that’s the case it’s not worth it (An Post will charge €10 to deliver a magazine worth let’s say €6.) unless the seller is registered in the EU and charges VAT on the subscription.
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