Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday said it has cleared 57 out of 86 private jets/aircraft operators in the country.
The agency said that the 57 private jets are free to operate in the country after screening of their customs papers and duties.
The service also said 29 others were found not to have paid their duties and 62 other jet operators refused to show up for the customs verification excercise.
The Public Relations officer of the service, Comptroller Joseph Attah made the disclosure while addressing a media briefing to give an update on the exercise.
He said any private jet owners who refused to participate in the exercise will not be allowed to operate henceforth and will be prosecuted.
Comptroller Attah said: “As you may recall a press conference was held on the 31st of May 2021 in which the public was notified about the commencement of verification of Import documents for privately owned Aircrafts in the country.
“In line with its statutory functions as provided for in PART III Sections27, 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 Aircrafts in the country were invited to come forward with their relevant importation clearance documents for verification.
“This exercise took place between the 7th of June and August 6th 2021 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service. In it the following documents were requested:
· 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).
“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/aircrafts 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/aircrafts 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, Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3 Abuja-FCT, Room 312 between 10:00am and 5:00pm 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.
READ ALSO: Makinde Swears-In Five Judges
“The owners of the 62 private aircrafts 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.
“The Nigeria Customs Service implores all concerned to avail themselves of this opportunity as it will not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters.
“The Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria has also been put on notice to ensure only Privately Owned Aircrafts duly verified, and cleared by Customs are authorized to operate within our airspace.
“The Service therefore looks forward to full compliance by all Private Jet/Aircraft Owners in the Country.”