The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Monday warned that private jet owners risk having their airplanes impounded if they fail to verify their documents before July 6, 2021, when the one-month grace period given them would have expired.
The Public Relations Officer of NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, said in Abuja, at a media briefing to update the public on the ongoing audit of privately-owned aircraft operating in Nigeria, that failure to comply with the verification mandate would be met with appropriate sanctions.
THISDAY had reported that NCS had directed all private aircraft owners to present their importation clearance documents to the agency for verification.
“In line with the need to ensure strict compliance with all regulations, especially at this time of challenging security situation and the reluctance of some highly-placed individuals to pay taxes, Nigeria Customs Service will be taking stock of all privately-owned aircraft in the country.
“Consequently, Nigeria Customs Service, in line with its statutory functions as provided for in Part III Sections 27, 35, 37, 45, 46, 47, 52, 56, 63 & 64; Part XI Sections 144, 145, 155, 160, 161 & 164 and Part XII Sections 167, 168, 169, 173, and 174 of the Customs and Excise Management Act hereby invites all owners of private aircraft in the country to come forward with their relevant importation clearance documents for verification,” Attah had said.
He, however, said on Monday that only six private jet owners had responded to the invitation.
He added: “Within two weeks into the 30 days verification period, only six owners of private aircraft have responded to the invitation, necessitating this update and reminder to those who have not responded, to do so in order to avoid possible detention of their aircraft.
“We learnt some are coming today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday) for verification. We also know that some brought their private jets under a temporary import certificate, which has expired and not renewed. These are infractions.
“At the end of the verification, some of the things we want to expose will come to light. We will make our findings known on July 6 after the expiration of the 30-day grace window
“Those in default risk detention of their aircraft as nobody is above the law.”
According to him, the NCS believed that owners of private aircraft are highly placed individuals who would be willing to comply with extant laws governing the importation of the aircraft they own; including payments of all appropriate duties and taxes.
“As an agency of government responsible for enforcement of laws governing imports and exports in Nigeria, NCS will not hesitate to invoke appropriate sanctions on any defaulting private aircraft owner immediately after the expiration of the verification period on Tuesday 6th July 2021,” he stated.
He listed the documents required for verification as: Aircraft Certificate of Registration NCAA’S Flight Operations Compliance Certificate; NCAA’S Maintenance Compliance Certificate; NCAA’S Permit for non- Commercial Flights; and Temporary Import Permit where applicable.
According to him, the ongoing verification is not intended to inconvenience any owner of a private aircraft, as such individuals or representatives can come with the documents for verification.
Udora Orizu in Abuja