BY QUADRI SALIU
Private aircraft owners in Nigeria risk impoundment of their aircrafts for failure to sort out infractions in the import and operational documents with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Tariff and Trade Department.
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has given private aircraft owners a 14-day ultimatum to sort out these infractions.
Mr Joseph Attah, the National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, disclosed this Tuesday in a press conference held in Abuja.
The NCS had directed private jet owners to verify their documents with the service or risk having their airplanes impounded.
Attah said the service had already issued demand notices to all those concerned and expected to generate billions of naira once detected gaps are closed.
According to him, the action of the NCS is driven by the need to promote national security and recover trapped revenue of the government in various private jet owners’ coffers who evaded duties and other statutory charges.
He pointed out that the verification took place between June 7 and August 6, 2021 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the service.
He said, “Within the stipulated period, 86 private jets/aircraft operators showed up for the exercise and presented the relevant documents for verification.
“Of this number, 57 were verified as commercial charter operators, and were duly cleared for operations.
“Twenty-nine other private jets/aircrafts were found liable for payment of Customs duty. Their values were assessed, and the appropriate demand notices issued to their owners for the payment of outstanding duties.
“However, 62 other private jet/aircrafts whose registration numbers were duly obtained from the appropriate authority were not verified because their owners or designated representatives made no presentations to Customs that could help determine their status.
“To this effect, all 57 commercial charter jet/aircraft operators who presented their documents for verification are requested to come forward to the Tariff and Trade department of the Nigeria Customs.
“All 29 private jet/aircraft owners and or their representatives who have been issued with demand notices have been given 14 days from October 11, 2021 to collect and make payments to the designated Federal Government accounts after which they will be issued with Aircraft Clearance Certificates.”
The NCS also directed the 62 private aircraft whose owners hadn’t provided any documents for verification to immediately furnish the Tariff and Trade Department of the service with the necessary documents for verification and clearance.
For the verification, the Customs requested aircraft’s registration, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority Flight Operations Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate, and NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights and Temporary Import Permit (where applicable).