Customs threatens to seize 29 private jets over import duties default

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The Nigeria Customs Service has issued a 14-day ultimatum to private aircrafts owners in the country to pay all understanding import duties on their aircrafts or risk having them impounded.

Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Joseph Attah, who disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday said 29 private aircrafts were found liable for payment of Customs duty while 62 other private aircrafts were not verified because their owners made no presentations to Customs.

Attah said the values of aircrafts liable for payment of customs duty have been assessed and the appropriate demand notices issued to their owners for the payment of outstanding duties while owners of the 62 private aircrafts whose status remains uncertain are requested to furnish the Tariff and Trade department of the Service with the necessary documents for verification and clearance.

“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.

“The owners of the 62 private aircrafts 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.

“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,” he said.

Attah said the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria has been put on notice to ensure only privately owned aircrafts duly verified, and cleared by Customs are authorized to operate within the nation’s airspace.

“Still, other private jet/aircraft owners whose aircrafts’ registration and manufacturers’ serial numbers do not appear on any of the three lists, will do well to seek further clarification and clearance at Customs Headquarters to avoid embarrassment.

“The Service therefore looks forward to full compliance by all Private Jet/Aircraft Owners in the Country,” he said.

In line with its statutory functions as provided for in PART III Sections27, 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 Aircrafts 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 Service. The documents requested are: 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 Applications


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