The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has grounded 62 private jets whose owners refused to show up for a verification exercise, while it gave the owners of 29 others 14 days to make payment of necessary importation charges into the coffers of government.
The NCS action follows a verification exercise it conducted for all aircraft operating in the country. The verification exercise was held from June 7 to August 6, 2021.
The National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Joseph Attah, who disclosed this during a press conference on Tuesday, said the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been put on notice to ensure that only privately owned aircraft duly verified and cleared by Customs are authorized to operate within the country’s airspace.
“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. 29 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 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.
He said the owners of the 62 private aircraft for which no presentations were made for their verification, and whose status remains uncertain are requested to immediately furnish the Tariff and Trade department of the service with the necessary documents for verification and clearance.
Attah implored all concerned to avail themselves of the opportunity, as the NCS will not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters.
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&174 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), all owners of private aircraft in the country were invited to come forward with their relevant importation clearance documents for verification. The exercise took place between the 7th of June and August 6th 2021 at the Tariff and Trade department of the NCS.
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