In this section, you will find information on the process for de-BFGing your vehicle(s) and the Customs and Immigration requirements.

Exporting your vehicle back to the UK

For the de-registration process from BFG you must allow a minimum of 28 days for completion. The timeline on the opposite page demonstrates the de-registation and registration process that all vehicles registered in BFG must go through. 

Left Hand Drive (LHD) Vehicles

If you own a LHD vehicle, please contact your Local Vehicle Licensing Office (LVLO) before starting any of the registration process. The LVLO Clerk will check all your documents and forward to DVLA for processing. Please ensure you have given either a contact telephone number and/or email.

Transferring of Vehicles Out of BFG but not back to the UK

If you are selling your car in Germany prior to leaving BFG or you are taking it to another European country, you will need to apply for a BFG Form 38 (for selling) or Form 38U (for transferring residence). BFG Forms 38/38U should be submitted to BFG C&I in your LVLO. You will be informed when the BFG Form 38/38U has been received back from German Customs. It can take up to 28 days, so please submit your application well in advance. 

You must NOT hand over your vehicle to the new owner or export it from Germany until you have the authority to do so - the completed BFG Form 38 from them. 

Need Help?

If you are unsure of any aspect about taking your vehicle out of BFG, please ask your LVLO or the HQ BFG Vehicle Licensing Office Helpline is available during operating hours on Civ: 05219 254 2637 or Mil: 81 2637

Vehicle Deregistration and Deregistration Timeline

vlo deregistration

pdf copy of De-Registration Timeline

Customs & Immigration

Tax Free Shopping

All goods that have been purchased tax free must have been in your possession and used in Germany for a minimum of six months before you can export them free of VAT liability. If you have imported tax free goods from outside of Germany over €1000, you must obtain a BFG Form 38 if you intend to sell them and a BFG Form 38U if you intend to take them to your new station outside Germany. If you have bought tax free goods in Germany using an Abwicklungsschein, then the threshold for requesting a BFG Form 38/38U is €2500. Do not forget that you must hand in all of your tax free forms before leaving Germany. 

Duty Paid Items (Tax Paid)

The Indicative Levels (ILs) are the official guidelines from HMRC of the quantity of tobacco and alcohol products that, having been purchased from a Duty Paid (i.e. tax paid) outlet within the EU (such as a German shop, supermarket, etc.), may be imported into any other EU Member State for personal consumption. Quantities above these levels may be permitted but you must be able to prove that the goods are for your own personal use. Current ILs are:

Tobacco Products Alchohol Products 
Cigarettes  800 Spirits (over 22% Vol) 10 litres 
Cigarillos 400 Intermediate products* 20 litres
Cigars 200 Wine** 90 litres
Tobacco 1kg Beer 110 litres

* port, sherry etc, under 22% volume

** of which not more than 60 litres may be sparkling wine

Duty Free Items (Tax Free)

Alcohol and tobacco bought from NAAFI, PX, and Messes are Duty Free (i.e. tax free). The German Authorities permit us to export a quantity of Duty Free items on assignment; however, the permitted export allowances are not to be taken as confirmation that such quantities may be imported Duty Free (tax free) into and/or through other countries. In many cases (notably in the case of imports of wines, spirits and cigarettes) the Duty Free import allowances are much less.

You should also be aware that France and the BENELUX countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) can treat transit as import and may demand duty from you on your journey back to UK. If you are unsure of the restrictions do seek advice from your local C&I Officer before purchasing duty free items for transport to the UK. 

 ItemQuantity
Cigarettes 600
Other Tobacco 500
Spirits 10 Litres
Wine 90 Litres
Coffee 500g
Pure Coffee Extract 125g
Mixed Coffee Extract 125g

Privately Owned Firearms

You must obtain a BFG Form 38U for your privately owned firearm, whether it is tax free or if it is tax paid and follow the instructions from German Customs. If you fail to follow the instructions and export the firearm correctly, you may be liable for German tax even if it was originally tax paid. 

www.gov.uk/guidance/firearms-and-export-control-forms#individuals-exporting-firearms

Passports and VISAS

You must ensure that your passport and visas are in date. If they are due replacement then you will need to apply for a new/replacement passport/visa immediately. You can expect passport renewals to take up to four weeks. For advice on the UK passport and visa application process, please contact your Unit Regimental Admin Office (RAO) or Unit Welfare Office (UWO). 

Once in the UK maintenance of your passports and visas become your personal financial responsibility.