The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) has debunked claims that it is acting in defiance to the Federal Government’s Executive Order on zero vat and duty on commercial airplanes and spare parts.
In a statement issued by the Customs National Public Relations Officer, DC, Joseph Attah, in response to claims made by the Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Barrister Allen Onyema, the agency stated that claims of Air peace’s Chairman was “unfortunate and does not show proper understanding of the extant regulations governing the industry, which can also be construed as a deliberate attempt to blackmail the Service.”
Attah explained that the Finance Act amended, only grants exemptions to Customs duty and VAT but did not grant concession on Comprehensive Imports Supervision Scheme (CISS) and ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS).
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to draw his attention to Section 39 of the Second Schedule of the Finance Act as amended which states that airlines registered in Nigeria and providing commercial air transport services are entitled to duty-free importation of their aircrafts, engines, spare parts and components whether purchased or leased.”
“Such imports are therefore still required to pay appropriate charges ETLS and CISS. It was therefore in-line with the extant regulations that NCS did not collect duty and VAT on Air Peace recent import of E195-E2 with registration No. 5N-BYE but restricted itself to the collection of ETLS and CISS which amounted to the sum of N189,000,000,” the Customs PRO said.
He added that the thinking of NCS can act in defiance of the federal government’s order is far-fetched as the agency’s statutory function is to implement the fiscal policies of the government.
The agency advised airlines and other industry operators to always engage the appropriate authority for proper clarification and necessary action, instead of resorting to self-help to gain public sympathy even when in contravention with the laws.