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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATE (28 Jul 15): AMSTO has received permission again to operate and military sales are back in effect. The power of the American Dollar!!


I was just told that there has been a freeze put in place by the German Ministry of Finance on all AMSTO sales, i.e. military sales of BMW autos to American servicemen. Allegedly, the Ministry re-evaluated their customs policies and found that there are additional steps to clear the car through German customs that have not been taking place.

As of 23 Jul, there are to be no orders placed or delivered on any BMW military sales vehicles. I found this out because my new 340i arrived yesterday and I was supposed to take delivery tomorrow...and now I can't. Instead, I have to admire it on the lot while the lawyers haggle!
 

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Curious. How would military sales be any different than ED sales as far as export goes? Just wonder if this is an "under the radar" political poke. Seems odd with military sales having gone on for decades and thousands of cars sold this way exported w/o issue that suddenly the German Fin. Min. found an undiscovered problem.
 

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Curious. How would military sales be any different than ED sales as far as export goes? Just wonder if this is an "under the radar" political poke. Seems odd with military sales having gone on for decades and thousands of cars sold this way exported w/o issue that suddenly the German Fin. Min. found an undiscovered problem.
I thought so, too, until 4-5 years ago I had a chat on these forums with aviator from Aviano, Italy. His E90 had regular Italian plates which I thought was not possible. All obviously American vehicles I saw in the area had a special AFI plate, not regular Italian plate.

So, I can see a very big problem if you switch from Zoll plate to regular German license plate without paying VAT.

I also think that the gain is worth the trouble for cars that cost a lot more than our 3/4 series BMW so that Porsche still reserves the right to hold onto your check of 21% VAT on car sold until the car shows up in US after your ED.

Now, if that BMW passes from Zoll plate (or no plate at all) straight to special plate denominating the car as part of US Forces in Germany ... then I see no problem with it and it might be purely political BS.
 

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U.S. military isn't exempt from VAT? But even if not, wouldn't the VAT be paid upfront, not at export? Can't imagine a Ger. lic. plate or registration being issued if the taxes were not paid first -- same as in U.S.
 

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Apologies if this isn't the best location for this thread, but wanted to get the word out....

I was just told that there has been a freeze put in place by the German Ministry of Finance on all AMSTO sales, i.e. military sales of BMW autos to American servicemen. Allegedly, the Ministry re-evaluated their customs policies and found that there are additional steps to clear the car through German customs that have not been taking place.

As of 23 Jul, there are to be no orders placed or delivered on any BMW military sales vehicles. I found this out because my new 340i arrived yesterday and I was supposed to take delivery tomorrow...and now I can't. Instead, I have to admire it on the lot while the lawyers haggle!
So if I ordered through Military Sales in Japan and supposed to be delivered to the states.........your saying it won't happen? Or are you just saying Military personnel in Germany?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So if I ordered through Military Sales in Japan and supposed to be delivered to the states.........your saying it won't happen? Or are you just saying Military personnel in Germany?
From what I've heard, this only affects Military Sales in Germany.
 

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U.S. military isn't exempt from VAT? But even if not, wouldn't the VAT be paid upfront, not at export? Can't imagine a Ger. lic. plate or registration being issued if the taxes were not paid first -- same as in U.S.
Exactly. They SHOULD be exempted from VAT. Which means you buy a BMW, do not pay German VAT (21%), register the car with special plates as "US Forces in Germany" and everybody is happy. Because, if you want to conveniently sell that car to your local German friend say, tomorrow with, say, only 4 miles on the ODO ... he's gonna first pay 21% on that car, then used car sales tax. Makes sense?

However, if you can, as a member of US Forces in Germany pay no VAT and have a regular German license plate ... well, let's just say that some German citizens will gladly buy a BMW without paying 21% VAT. :) Get it?
 

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I lived in Germany for 10 years (army). Under the status of forces agreement, we never pay VAT on any product, unless fir some crazy reason you wouldn't pay a few bucks for the "VAT form" which must be filled out.

I also ordered a bmw while in Germany, however, i owned many American spec and German spec vehicles while there. We run on legitimate German licence plates and the vehicle must pass German inspection. We used to run on USA tags but for obvious security reasons, they put an end to that.... HUGE target on USA tags...we pay German registration fee without tax. Again this is all under the sofa agreement in Germany.
 

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We used to run on USA tags but for obvious security reasons, they put an end to that.... HUGE target on USA tags...we pay German registration fee without tax. Again this is all under the sofa agreement in Germany.
So ... now it makes sense. I guess some people figured out to make some money by ordering BMW as US Forces only to sell it the next day to a German and split the profit. I would be very surprised to learn that, once regularly registered and registration book issued, there would be a flag that VAT was never paid on that car.

My guess is that it might have started in low numbers between friends, but too many people got into it and possibly quite a few of them got stupidly greedy.
 

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Just cause the plate is german does not mean it is not listed in some computer db as a US mil car. Sounds like a jab
 

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So if I ordered through Military Sales in Japan and supposed to be delivered to the states.........your saying it won't happen? Or are you just saying Military personnel in Germany?
I ordered a 2016 F30 through military sales in Japan a couple of months ago. It should arrive in the states sometime next month, and I haven't heard of any issues with customs. Sounds like its just a Germany thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The post does say "German Ministry of Finance"....they typically only control matters in Germany being the German ministry and all. The title of the thread is "Freeze on BMW Military Sales in Germany"...again, the emphasis on "in Germany"
 

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I'm shipping mine out on Monday through Frankfurt. Thanks to this thread I now have a bit of a pucker factor going into the shippers. I don't imagine there will be a problem, but if the Germans can screw with US personnel these days, they take it. It's getting frustrating over here. The German authorities have been coming after US personnel starting about 2 years ago when the issues of US surveillance came out. (ignoring the fact that they themselves were busted on not dissimilar behavior). It's not 'the good old days' over here any more. Personally I think the US military should pick up sticks and move to Poland where they both want us and need us, and let Germany pick up the tab for their own defense. (I'm not sure they could defend themselves from the Swiss at this point)
 

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They are in a panic driven by the Greece bailout.
As the details of the bailout are hammered out maybe the Greeks convinced the Americans to lean on the Germans behind the scenes a bit and this is the response.

John, who is feeling conspiratorial this morning.
 
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