Trouble Looms For Private Jet Owners As Customs Begins Crackdown On Illegally Imported Planes

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it may detain unverified private aircraft after the 30 days importation verification deadline given to owners elapses on July 6.

At a briefing in Abuja on Monday, the Public Relations Officer of Customs, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, said so far, only six owners of private aircraft have responded to the invitation since the verification window opened on June 7, 2021.

“The Service believes that owners of private aircraft are highly-placed individuals who would be willing to comply with extant laws of the land governing the importation of the aircraft they own, this includes payments of all appropriate duties and taxes,” Attah said.

He also asked owners of private aircraft or their representatives to report to the Customs headquarters in Abuja before July 6, with the necessary documents that include 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 applicable.

According to the Customs spokesman, there were indications that some people brought in aircraft under the Temporary Import Permit (TIP).

“The period for such temporary importation for some of the aircraft, has expired and they have neither renewed nor re-exported the aircraft in line with extant laws governing that in Nigeria. At the end of the verification, some of the things we are suspecting will come to light and we will make further details known.

“As 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 July 6, 2021,” he said.

He added that the essence of the holistic audit is to ensure that all aircraft privately owned in the country were properly imported and cleared with all appropriate taxes paid.

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