Victoria Onu, Abuja
21 June 2021
THE Nigeria Customs Service will, from July 6 2021, begin to impound all private jets with unverified documents.
The NCS has therefore called on all owners of private jets to ensure that they take advantage of the one-month grace period to verify their documents.
Public Relations Officer of Customs, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja at a media briefing to update the public on the ongoing audit of privately-owned aircraft operating in Nigeria.
Recall that Customs, on May 31, 2021, announced plans to carry out a holistic audit of the private jets imported into Nigeria; to ensure that all appropriate revenues of the government were not evaded or operating rules breached.
The Service had explained that the verification was to ensure strict compliance with NCS regulations and revenue generation through the payment of one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme.
Attah said, “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 or tomorrow 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.”Attah added that the Customs management believed that owners of private aircraft were 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.
He stated, “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.
“For the avoidance of doubt, private aircraft owners or their representatives are to report to room 305, Tariff & Trade Departments, Nigeria Customs Service headquarters, Abuja, from 10am to 5pm, between Monday 7th June and Tuesday 6th July, 2021.”
He added that the required documents for verification were: 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.
The Customs Spokesman emphasised that the ongoing verification was not intended to inconvenience any owner of a private aircraft, as such individuals or representatives could come with the documents for verification.