In a statement read by Customs at a recent Press briefing on the result of the verification of private aircraft, the taxman agency warned it will not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters stressing that it has put the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria on notice to ensure only Privately-Owned Aircraft duly verified and cleared are authorized to operate within Nigeria.
This comes after the agency (Nigeria customs service) cleared fifty-seven (57) commercial charter operators in Nigeria and issued a fourteen (14) day notice to twenty-nine (29) private aircraft operators who are liable for custom duty payments, to collect and make payments or cease flying in Nigerian airspace, according to Nigeria Flightdeck.
This clearance and directive came on the heels of a verification exercise which took place between the 7th of June and August 6th 2021 for 86 private aircraft at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service.
Documents including 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 application) were also requested from the jet owners.
“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.”
“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/aircraft 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/aircraft 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 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 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, according to the statement.