The processes for Veterans access of and use of NAAFI facilities changes on 31 January 2015 in order to reduce the burden on veterans who wish to use NAAFI facilities.
All British Army veterans resident in Germany have, since 2010, been allowed to purchase non-rationed goods in NAAFI shops, provided they were in possession of a “Pink” German customs form which recorded all purchases. This enabled Mehrwertsteuer (VAT) on the purchases to be recovered by German customs since veterans are no longer entitled to BFG tax-free benefits. In order be issued with a “Pink”, veterans were required to produce a valid BFG 5201B to their local Zollamt. This form was issued by BFG Customs and Immigration.
From 31 January 2015 veterans will no longer require a BFG F5201B to obtain a “Pink” Form from German customs. The form will be discontinued and will no longer be issued. Instead, all new Veterans Installation Access Passes (VIAP) will have a statement on the reverse of the pass which confirms that they are a British Army veteran and are permitted to use NAAFI facilities. Local German customs offices will continue to issue “Pink” Forms to veterans, provided that they present a new VIAP with text that has been approved by the German Federal Government.
Veterans are reminded that the process and tax/duty levy for shopping in the NAAFI is the same as that used by US Veterans, resident in Germany for shopping in the US Military facilities.
How to Apply
The pass office will then send it to HQ BFG. All being well and there being no issues along the way your local pass office will receive your new VIAP some weeks later. Applicants should be aware that the process though usually complete in around 6 weeks it can take longer as we have no control over the host nation vetting parts which they provide gratis. The Veteran will be notified by the pass office when the VIAP is ready for collection.
Once in receipt of the properly authorised VIAP, the Veteran then has to visit his/her local Zollamt (Stadt Customs Office) with the VIAP and Passport or Ausweis to complete Application Form 0126. Veterans must use the Zollamt that covers the area where they reside.
The local Zollamt will issue the Veteran an “Authorisation of an Entitled Person” Form and Form 0217, colloquially known as the “Pink” Card (but which may or may not be pink in colour). Once in possession of a VIAP and a Pink Card (Form 0217) the Veteran may shop in the NAAFI for tax-free non-rationed items.
Renewal Process for VIAP Holders Who Wish to Shop in NAAFI Retail Outlets
It is appreciated only a fraction of veterans will be renewing their passes in early 2015. There is no longer a requirement to renew the BFG F5201B. As a result, the Federal Government has agreed an interim solution. This comprises of a sticker, containing the agreed text which is fixed to the rear of the VIAP. This will be done by the issuing pass office and will be valid until the VIAP itself expires. Veterans should report to their local pass office have a sticker affixed to their VIAP.
How to Shop
When purchasing goods, the Veteran must show their new VIAP (this is in line with the 100% ID card check for all personnel entitled to use the NAAFI) and produce their Pink Card at the till prior to the sale. Veterans who are purchasing goods for immediate consumption only need not show their Pink Card as this existing concession will continue, they will, however, need to show their VIAP. A list of items for immediate consumption will now be clearly displayed at all NAAFI check outs.
On completion of the sale, NAAFI staff will:
- Enter the details of the till receipt of the total value of the purchase on the Veterans Sales Sheets (held and retained by NAAFI), which is subject to audit by BFG C&I and the German Authorities.
- Enter individual item details of all individual purchases of €250 or more on the reverse of the Veterans Pink Card.
- Provide the Veteran with their receipt and return the “Pink Card”. The Veteran is reminded that they must ensure that they receive a copy of their receipt.
After Shopping/Paying the Duty/Tax
The veteran must report all their NAAFI purchases, no matter what the value, to their local Zollamt (where they obtained their Pink Card) by the 5th working day of the following month, with accompanying receipts and their Pink Card. If no purchase has taken place there is no requirement to go to the Customs Office.