NIGERIA Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to impound any private jet in the country which does not have unverified documents as from July 6 as part of a clampdown on unregistered aircrafts.
One of the fastest growing private jet markets in the world, Nigeria has become a haven luxury Gulfstream aircrafts, which the rich use for domestic and foreign travel. Among the most popular buyers of private jets in Nigeria are evangelical clergymen, politicians and owners of oil blocks.
Their expensive aircrafts occupy numerous hangers at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos but many of them are not registered. NCS spokesman Joseph Attah, said the owners of all private jets in Nigeria have been given a one-month grace period during which they are to register their aircraft and after that, if they do not, they will be impounded.
Mr Attah said this became necessary as some private jet owners brought aircraft into Nigeria using temporary import permits (TIP). He urged all owners or their representatives to report to the Customs headquarters in Abuja before July 6 with the necessary documents of their aircraft will be impounded.
Documents which are to be tendered include Aircraft Certificate of Registration, Flight Operations Compliance Certificate, Maintenance Compliance Certificate, Permit for Non-Commercial Flights and TIP, where applicable. According to Mr Attah, the reason of the holistic audit was to ensure that all aircraft privately owned in the Nigeria were properly imported and cleared with all appropriate taxes paid.
Mr Attah said: “NCS believes that owners of private aircraft are highly-placed individuals who would be willing to comply with extant laws of the land governing importation of the aircraft they own, including payments of all appropriate duties and taxes. 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 of 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 an agency of the federal government responsible for enforcement of laws governing imports and exports in Nigeria, Customs will not fail to invoke appropriate sanctions on any defaulting private aircraft owner immediately after the expiration of the verification period on Tuesday July 6, 2021.”