This section demands that on arrival, the pilot or the owner of the aircraft must deliver to Customs, the certificate of clearance granted to the pilot at the last port or airport of departure.
Section 32(3) of the Act further states that the pilot or owner of a aircraft who fails to comply with the above provision of the law commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding VT5,000,000.
On 26th October 2015 and again on 4th January 2016, the airline conducted two medical evacuations from Port Vila to Nouméa, New Caledonia. However, on both occasions, the French authorities were never informed and therefore never provided the Customs certificate of outward clearance from New Caledonia to Vanuatu. Not only was this a clear breach of the laws of Vanuatu, it is a breach of international requirements to ensure the movements of aircrafts and vessels across borders are well controlled by Customs to avoid the risk of transnational crimes.
Fortunately for the airline, being a first time offender and for their genuine lack of understanding of the laws, Customs has decided not to take this matter further to the courts but to settle it administratively by issuing penalties for each of the two occasions.