NATO/SOFA VAT/Mehrwertsteuer exemption outside of Germany

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I think I know the answer to this question already - namely not easily - but has anybody under the SOFA in Germany had any luck in getting a VAT exemption for purchases outside of Germany? I’d probably have to get a VAT exempted entity (ie a German based company) in Germany to buy the product from the merchant in say Belgium, import it into Germany and then resell the item to me with me using an NF2 VAT form?

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I doubt the NF2 can be used for an airplane purchase since it will be considered as a recreational vehicle.  The USAREUR regulations covering vehicle purchases using the NF2 require all vehicles to be registered through the USAREUR Vehicle Registration Office.  I don't think any of the Vehicle Registration Offices or USAREUR Vehicle Inspection Stations are set up for aviation registration.  Assuming you could find a way to purchase the plane with the NF2 (aviation instrument package with enclosure?), it must be in the USAREUR system for at least six months before being transferred into the German system without paying the VAT and import duties.

 

When the Coleman Flying Club was operational, they had several N-registered aircraft, but I think those were owned through the MWR program.  The only personally owned aircraft I saw had D registrations.  I'm also a pilot and thought of buying a Cessna 172 from the States and shipping it here a few years ago, but couldn't find a way around the registration and import duties.

 

Edit: I realized that I didn't answer the main part of your question.  I don't think the VAT office cares about the origin of the item being purchased, as long as it is purchased by a legitimate business in Germany that will accept the NF2 and issue a valid offer for the purchase.  The Ford dealer where I bought my truck imported it from the South African distributor.  The company in Mannheim that sold me a €3,500 table saw imported it from a distributor in Italy.  The actual point of purchase for me was from German businesses.

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The USAREUR vehicle registration office strangely enough will actually register an airplane. It's funny as the registration slip looks exactly the same as one for the car, just with an absurd monthly fuel allotment (something like 400 liters for a POV versus 5,000 liters for the plane).

 

The aero club is alive and kicking by the way - if you still have SOFA status come on over!

 

Thanks for the info!

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Great news!  I had no idea the vehicle registration office could register aircraft.  When I was considering bringing the 172 over, the Darmstadt office was still open and they said "no", so I abandoned the idea.

 

My SOFA status ended when I retired, and I don't miss it at all. 

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I guess the more correct answer is the USAREUR vehicle registration office won't actually register the plane in the military system; it remains in the FAA N registration system with an N number. So not quite like with a car where you de-register in your state before you come over and re-register with USAREUR. But you do get a registration document with which you get a fuel ration allotment so for practical purposes, yes, it is registered in the USAREUR system. It's complicated. I hear most times the club needs to reregister the plane the clerk initially says no and then once they see the registration document with "Cessna" on it, it goes through without issues.

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