Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to impound private jets in the country by July 6, 2021 if their owners fail to present relevant import clearance documents for verification within the stipulated 30-day period.
NCS national spokesman, Mr. Joseph Attah, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday where he stressed that the verification was not meant to create inconvenience for private jet owners.
He also stressed that such individuals or representatives could come with the documents for verification.
According to him, the required documents for verification are aircraft certificate of registration, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) flight operations compliance certificate, NCAA’s maintenance compliance certificate, NCAA’S permit for non- commercial flights and temporary import permit where applicable.
Attah said, a few owners of private aircraft had responded to the verification invitation, thus prompting the ultimatum.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
He stated that its management believes that owners of private aircraft are highly placed individuals who would be willing to comply with extant laws governing the importation of the planes they own; including payments of all appropriate duties and taxes.
“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 and Trade Departments, Nigeria Customs Service headquarters, Abuja, from 10 am to 5 pm between Monday, June 7 and Tuesday, July 6, 2021,” Attah added.