Individual Logistical Support
Privileged DoD ID card holders assigned to Germany fall under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. This entitles them and their authorized dependents, residing with them, to tax free status or what is termed “Individual Logistical Support” or ILS. ILS privileges allow active duty military, DoD civilians, approved contractors and their family members to use the Commissary, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Army Post Office, Value-Added Tax Office, and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities in Germany.
Vacationing service members or DoD civilians, from outside Europe or North Africa are not allowed to use tax free facilities. They must be on temporary duty orders to Germany to do so.
It is important that privileged DoD ID card holders know the rules and obey them to keep their tax free status. It is unlawful to transfer tax free items or privileges to unauthorized individuals.
Black Marketing is the transfer or sale of US tax-free goods to unauthorized individuals for profit or personal gain.
Unlawful Transfer is the unlawful transfer of tax-free goods to unauthorized persons.
Note: Both black marketing and unlawful transfer are punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and Civilian Misconduct AR 27-9.
Allowing visiting Family members and friends to operate your POV
Due to the tax-free status of U.S. Army Europe gasoline and the vehicle registration system, the German government forbids non-eligible personnel to operate a U.S. registered personally owned vehicle. This means if you do not have a DoD ID card and a USAREUR driver’s license, you cannot drive a USAREUR-registered POV without the owner of the vehicle being present in the vehicle.
One exception to this allows visiting family members or friends to drive the sponsor’s POV while they are visiting Germany for periods up to 90 days (AE Form 550-175C/D).
To obtain AE Form 550-175C/D, you must present the following at the Customs Office:
- Your DoD ID card
- The visitor's international driver's license, not issued in Germany, or a valid stateside driver's license with an official translation
- Registration of the vehicle being driven
- The visitor's passport
Short-term fuel card authorization
This form is used only for short-term Esso fuel cards for rental vehicles. This form is not for U.S. Army Europe-registered personally owned vehicles.
To obtain an AE 550-175L visit the Customs Office during duty hours, or the MP Station, after duty hours with the following:
- Your DoD ID card
- Rental vehicle contract
- Rental vehicle registration
Importing vehicles or items into Germany
The German government imposes an import tax on many items being imported into Germany. Service members and their dependents, can obtain Army in Europe Form 550-175A, which saves you having to pay the taxes.
You will probably want one of these forms if you bring a second car into the country at your own expense, purchase an American car here in Germany, or import an item using a shipping company.
To obtain an AE 550-175A, visit the Customs Office and bring:
- Your DoD ID card
- A copy of your purchase order if you are purchasing a vehicle
- The value of the item being imported
- The name and address of the company that shipped the item to Germany
- The name and address of the shipping company that has the item in Germany and is requesting an AE 550-175A
Selling a car or item to a non-ID card holder
If you plan to sell an automobile or a personal item to a non-DoD ID card holder, you must follow a specific procedure, or you may find yourself in legal difficulty. This includes selling (or giving away) a vehicle to a salvage yard after an accident.
The process involves visiting the Customs Office and obtaining a Permit to Transfer (AE Form 550-175B). To obtain this form, you must provide the following information:
- Your DoD ID card
- A copy of the bill of sale
- The buyer's passport number is required if the buyer is a private individual rather than a company
- The sales price of the vehicle
- A valid USAREUR vehicle registration (current or non-operational registrations only)
- If a lien holder is listed on the registration, you must provide proof the lien has been paid off, or a letter from the lien holder providing you with permission to sell the vehicle.
- You must have owned the property in Germany for six months
You will not be able to clear your vehicle with Vehicle Registration until you obtain a cleared AE550-175B. Failure to get a form at the time of sale can result in legal issues.
Note: DO NOT transfer the property until you have received the AE Form 550-175B and approval from German Customs.
Use of the Army Post Office
The Army set up the Army Post Office system to provide regular mail service to service members. Mail service is for personal use only. It is NOT for business use.
Violators of APO policies are subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice action and federal felony convictions.
In accordance with with Army in Europe Regulation 550-175, Section I: General, 6 Host-Nation Provisions, Rules, Policy. Personnel subject to this publication may not import the following items in unaccompanied baggage or household goods, or through the Military Postal Service:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Animals or plants
- Cheese and cheese products
- Cigarettes and other tobacco products
- Coffee and coffee products
- Meat and meat products
- Medication (including vitamins and nutritional supplements)
- Milk and milk products
Note: Nutritional supplements include protein powder and other weightlifting/bodybuilding supplements.
For more information about on-post mailing services, visit U.S. Post Offices.
Operating businesses out of government quarters
Due to tax reasons, it is prohibited to operate a business out of your government quarters without the appropriate approval from U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden. It is also prohibited to use tax-free privileges to operate a home-based business.
For more information on operating a home-based business visit Employment Opportunities.
Rationed items for USAREUR
Several items are rationed for U.S. Army Europe. They Include: tobacco, coffee, liquor and gasoline. Contact your unit for moreinformation on obtaining a ration card.
Tobacco: 4 cartons per month
Coffee: 5 lbs ground or 20 oz. instantper month
Liquor: 5 bottles per month(not to exceed 6 liters)
Gasoline: 400 liters per month
Tax-free items and gift giving
Normally, tax free and rationed items may not be given to non DoD ID card holders, but an exception may be made when the item is a legitimate gift.
Occasions for gift giving include birthdays and other traditional gift-giving occasions.
- Items from the Commissary and Military Clothing Sales Store cannot be transferred at any time.
- No more than 25 cigarettes, 10 cigars or 60 grams of pipe tobacco
- No more than 500 g. coffee, or 125 g. instant coffee
- No more than 1.2 liter bottle (1 US quart) of liquor
Where to find more information and regulations
For more information and regulations, visit the Customs SharePoint page (CAC enabled).