91 Private Jet Owners Fail Customs’ Verification Test

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*File Photo: Private Jets

From October 25, 91 private jet owners may not be able to use the nation’s airspace if they fail to pay statutory Customs duties.

This is sequel to a ‘no fly’ request made to the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The service had on May 31 announced its plan to verify import documents of privately-owned airplanes in the country.

The exercise took place between June 7 and August 6 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the NCS.

Announcing the report on the exercise in Abuja yesterday, Customs spokesman, Joseph Attah, explained that within the stipulated period, 86 private jet owners or airplane operators showed up while 62 did not.

Out of the 86 that appeared, 57 were private-commercial operators that presented their documents and were accordingly cleared. The remaining 29 private jets/airplane owners and or their representatives were on October 11 directed to make payments to designated Federal Government accounts within 14 days

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Attah told reporters that the 29 owners risked impoundment of their jets if they failed to meet the deadline.

He said that as a prelude to the plan to impound the jets, Customs had reached out to FAAN to ensure that only privately- owned aircraft duly verified, and cleared by it (Customs) are authorised to fly.

His words: “29 private jets/aircraft were found liable for non-payment of Customs duty. Their values were assessed, and the appropriate demand notices were 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.

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“The owners of the 62 private aircraft … 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.

“Still, other private jets/aircraft owners whose aircraft’ registration and manufacturers’ serial numbers do not appear on any of the three lists, will do well to seek further clarification and clearance at Customs headquarters to avoid embarrassment.”

• Text, excluding headline, Nation

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