The Nigerian Customs Service has disclosed that 62 private jet/aircrafts operating in Nigeria do not have verified import documents.
The authority stated that the 62 private jet/aircraft 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.
Speaking during a media briefing on the outcome of an exercise duly authorized by the management of the Service under Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Comptroller-General of Customs, Joseph Attah, Public Relations Officer recalled that on 31st of May 2021, a press conference was held in which the public was notified about the commencement of verification of Import documents for privately owned aircraft in the country.
Attah said in line with its statutory functions, the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), invited all owners of private aircraft in the country to come forward with their relevant importation clearance documents for verification.
At the exercise which took place between the 7th of June and August 6th, 2021 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service, operators were requested to provide aircraft certificate of registration, NCAA’s Flight Operations Compliance Certificate (FOCC), NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate (MCC), NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights (PNCF) and temporary Import Permit (TIP) (where application).
Attah disclosed that 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/aircraft were found liable for payment of Customs duty. Their values were assessed, and the appropriate demand notices were issued to their owners for the payment of outstanding duties.
However, 62 other private jet/aircraft 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, he said.
“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 Service Headquarters, Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3 Abuja-FCT, Room 312 between 10:00am and 5:00pm to collect their Aircraft Clearance Certificates.
“All 29 Private Jet/Aircraft owners and or their representatives who have been issued with demand notices have been given (14) days from the 11th of October 2021 to collect and make payments to the designated Federal Government accounts after which they will be issued with Aircraft Clearance Certificates,” Attah said.
For the owners of the 62 private aircraft for which no presentations were made for their verification, and whose status remains uncertain, he said they requested to immediately furnish the Tariff and Trade department of the Service with the necessary documents for verification and clearance.
This is as he reiterated that the Nigeria Customs Service implores all concerned to avail themselves of this opportunity as it will not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters.
“The Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria has also been put on notice to ensure only Privately Owned Aircraft duly verified, and cleared by Customs are authorized to operate within our airspace,” he added.