Private jet owners risk having their airplanes impounded by the Nigeria Customs Service if they fail to verify their documents before July 6, 2021 when a month grace period would have expired.
The Public Relations Officer of NCS, Joseph Attah, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at a media briefing to update the public on the ongoing audit of privately-owned aircraft operating in Nigeria.
It had been reported in May that the NCS directed all private aircraft owners in the country to present relevant importation clearance documents to the agency for verification.
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 management of the NCS 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 said, “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 aircrafts owners or their representatives are to report to Room 305, Tariff and Trade Departments, Nigeria Customs Service headquarters, Abuja, from 10am to 5pm between Monday June 7 and Tuesday July 6, 2021.”
He added that the required documents for verification are 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 stressed that the ongoing verification was not intended to inconvenience any owner of a private aircraft, as such owners or representatives could present the papers for verification.