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If you have an enquiry please contact C&I using the phone numbers on the Contact Us page.

I am returning to the UK: My tax free vehicle is less than a year old.

Follow the export and de-registration process. If you sell the vehicle before the 1st anniversary of its BFG registration you will be liable for German VAT. The tax demand will be served by your chain of command and interest accrues from the date of the demand. So you will end up paying the VAT plus interest.

I am approaching TOUREX and have tax free goods, what should I consider?

One of the condiditons for receiving tax free benefits in BFG is that goods purchased for private use must be in your possession for a minimum of 6 months before you leave Germany. If you purchase tax free goods with less than 6 months of your tour remaining, you will be liable for German turnover tax on the purchase price when you leave. If these goods were purchased outside the EU, you might also be liable for EU customs duty (10% as at 1 May 2017). You should consider these points before you commit to buying tax free goods towards the end of your tour.

What is my entitlement to buy tax free vehicles?

Each entitled person is permitted to BFG register only one New Tax-Free Vehicle within any one year period (i.e. if a New tax-free vehicle is registered on 01 Jan in one year, the entitled person will not be able to register a further new tax-free vehicle until 01 Jan the following year.

In addition to one tax-free vehicle, one new tax-free motorcycle/quad bike, moped or bicycle with auxiliary motor, may be registered within any one year period.  However, only one vehicle per ‘Entitled Person’ per year can be exported to the UK free of tax.

Dependent children may only purchase and BFG register Tax-Free vehicles if they are at least 18 years old and not over 25 years old (16 years or older in relation to mopeds or mofas) and they possess a valid full driving license issued by an EU member state Also they must have lived in Germany with their parents for at least 185 days in the last twelve months, and expect to be resident in Germany with their parents for at least 185 days in the next twelve months.  Periods at boarding school, college and university will not count as residence in Germany.

What do I need to do to import a tax free vehicle into Germany?

You need to request an import certificate (known as a BFG Form 80). To do this you need to complete an application form ( BFG Form 60).

I am returning to the UK: My tax free vehicle is over a year old.

Follow the export and de-registration process. There are no restrictions on selling the vehicle.

Who, with respect to buying tax free vehicles, classifies as an entitled person?

  • A member of the British armed forces who is present in Germany and who has been assigned, on a permanent assignment order, to a unit of the British armed forces that is based in Germany or to a NATO headquarters in Germany.
  • A member of the civilian component of the British armed forces (UKBC).
  • An employee of a sponsored organisation who is considered to be and treated as a member of the civilian component of the British force.
  • A contractor’s employee who is to be considered to be and treated as a member of the civilian component of the British force and who is a civilian subject to service discipline.
  • A dependant of a person listed in the paragraphs above who has status as a dependant under SO BFG 3217 or a child of such a person who is at least 18 years of age (or 16 in relation to mopeds or mofas) and no more than 25 years of age. Provided, that they have been, or are expected to be (having regard to their assignment order, civil service posting documentation or other document from their employer confirming the terms of their presence in Germany), physically present in Germany for a minimum period of 183 days, and/or that the authorities of British Forces Germany have granted authority.

What tax and duty free services am I entitled to?

Ref SOs BFG 5203, 5205.

  1. You are entitled to shop tax and duty free in the NAAFI.
  2. You are entitled to purchase rationed goods (cigarettes, coffee, gin...

Can I buy a tax free vehicle from a German dealer?

Yes of course. The import process is exactly the same as for a UK bought vehicle, but if the vehicle is less than two years old you need to procure it through the NAAFI OPA and not directly from the dealer. If the vehicle is over two years old, you will be able to use an Abwicklungsschein from your Unit’s OPA in order to have the Mehrwertsteuer (German VAT) relieved. Please note that the purchaser of the vehicle must be the OPA and not you.

What happens if I fail to follow the procedure?

You may be subject to a tax demand and/or a BFG sanction for contravening standing orders.

I am posted to Cyprus, what do I need to consider?

Dependants have no tax free entitlement in Cyprus – if a spouse or child has a tax free vehicle under 12 months old, they will be required to pay tax and duty (if non EEA origin) before removing it from Germany.

Heads of household may export one tax free NMT and motorcycle to Cyprus and they will have to retain them for the duration of the tour (unless they pay tax to ROC customs). There is no annual tax free turnover allowed in Cyprus.

The good news is that the EU 6 month rule for transfer of residence does not apply for those posted to Cyprus. The head of household, therefore, does not have to have had his or her NMT BFG registered for a minimum of 6 months before posting. Each person will have to apply for a 28 day extension of BFG registration to enable them to import and register their vehicle in BFC.

Individuals leaving BFG are not permitted to take a tax free vehicle under 1 year old and with less than 3728 miles to the UK if posted to Cyprus (or indeed anywhere else outside of the UK). You can either take the vehicle with you to your new location, pay the outstanding VAT, or sell it to another entitled BFG member, providing they have not used their tax free allowance for the year.

For further advice please contact your local BFG C&I officer.

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