Insecurity: 62 private jet owners shun customs verification | Dailytrust

Insecurity: 62 private jet owners shun customs verification

The Nigeria Customs Service has said the owners of 62 private jets/aircraft operating in the country which registration numbers were duly obtained from the appropriate aviation authority were not verified and risk having them impoundment by the service for failure to present relevant importation clearance documents for verification or payment of customs duty.

The Customs Public Relations Officer, Comptroller Joseph Attah, who stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during a media briefing on the results of verification of privately owned aircraft, added that the service is carrying out the exercise due to the insecurity challenges in the country.

The exercise took place between June and August at the Tariff and Trade Department of the service and documents such as aircraft certificate registration, NCAA’s Flight Operations Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Maintenance Compliance Certificate, NCAA’s Permit for Non-Commercial Flights and Temporary Import Permit (TIP) were requested.

According to Attah, 86 private jets/aircraft operators showed up for the exercise and presented their relevant documents for verification within the stipulated period out of which 57 were verified as commercial charter operators and were duly cleared for operations.

However, 29 other private jets/aircraft were found liable for payment of Customs duty and another.

Attah said: “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.”

These bring to 91 the total number of aircraft in default with the possibility of attracting sanctions from the Customs Service.

He said the exercise was authorized by the management of the service, in line with the statutory functions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), with an invitation to all owners of private aircraft in the country to present their relevant importation clearance documents for verification.

“Therefore, it is important to know who owns what and the kind of jets or aircraft that operate in our airspace.

“The service, therefore, looks forward to full compliance by all private jets/aircraft owners in the country,” the spokesman added.

He said the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria had been put on notice to ensure that only privately owned aircraft duly verified and cleared by customs were authorised to operate within the country’s airspace.

He ruled out COVID-19 as an excuse for those that have not shown up for the verification as 82 of them have already complied.

“Nigeria is governed by law. So, they are expected to show patriotism. Our patience is elastic but it has reached the limit for them to comply,” Attah said.