Overseas Registered Private Jets Do Not Have To Pay Customs Duties
Quits Aviation Services Limited Chairman and CEO Sam Iwuajoku has reacted to the insistence of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) that private jets operating in Nigeria must pay customs duties, saying they should not be requested from aircraft registered outside of Nigeria paying the levy.
Iwuajoku, expressed surprise at the NCS ‘action, saying that customs officials should know that aircraft registered outside of Nigeria do not permanently operate in the country and therefore should not pay the tax.
Iwuajoku, who operates the Quits Aviation Services Free Trade Zone, spoke in response to the threat issued by the NCS to seize 29 private jets whose owners did not pay legal import duties to the federal government.
Customs had threatened to seize the 29 private jets if the owners did not show up by the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum it had given. The NCS also explained that within the stipulated verification period, 86 private jets or aircraft operators submitted to the exercise and submitted relevant documents for verification, adding that 57 of them were verified as commercial charter operators and were duly authorized for operations, but 29 Private jet/aircraft owners or their representatives had, as of October 11, 14 days to make payments to designated federal government accounts to be issued Aircraft Authorization Certificates after payment.
Iwuajoku emphasized that the NCS must understand that it has no right to request the payment of tariffs on foreign-registered aircraft because those aircraft were leased and not owned by Nigerians.
“Customs is right if you have a plane registered in Nigeria with 5N and before registering you have to pay customs duties and I think this is where the government is getting it wrong. They must understand the situation well before acting, ”Iwuajoku advised.
He also cautioned that the NCS should not scare off investors with its insistence that private jets should pay customs duties, and said Nigeria was benefiting from its operations in the country.
“The amount of money these planes generate for the Nigerian government is more than the cost of registration. They pay for their services in dollars, including landing and parking, All the services for which they pay are in dollars and government agencies are benefiting, so Customs should have a broader vision. Even if the money does not go to Customs, other government agencies are receiving the money. These operators pay the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in dollars, ”said Iwuajoke.