Guidance

VAT relief for suppliers to visiting forces (VAT Notice 431)

This notice explains how to make tax and duty-free supplies to NATO visiting forces, NATO International Military Headquarters and US military cemeteries in the UK.

Detail

This notice cancels and replaces Notice 431 (January 2015), details of any changes to the previous version can be found in paragraph 1.2 of this notice.

1. Overview

1.1 Information in this notice

This notice explains the arrangements for making tax and duty-free supplies to:

  • foreign NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) visiting forces and their personnel based in the UK
  • NATO International Military Headquarters (NATO IMHQ) and their personnel based in the UK
  • US military cemeteries at Brookwood and Madingley

Relief can be granted from VAT, Excise Duty, Customs Duty, agricultural levies, Landfill Tax, Climate Change Levy and Air Passenger Duty.

This notice is exclusively for UK suppliers to NATO visiting forces in the UK. It does not include any information for the NATO visiting forces or their agents, for example, on importing goods.

Information on VAT relief for supplies to NATO visiting forces and NATO IMHQ in other member states of the EU can be found in VAT on goods exported from the UK (Notice 703) and VAT and the single market (Notice 725).

Air Passenger Duty relief is described in Notice 550: Air Passenger Duty.

Guidance on the tax and duty-free treatment on sales of beer to US NATO visiting forces can be found in Notice 226: Beer Duty.

Duty refunds for goods imported to fulfil a contract with US NATO visiting forces have fallen out of use and are omitted. Relief is still available through alternative procedures, for example, Inward Processing Relief (IPR).

1.2 Changes to this notice

A purchase card has been introduced by the NATO IMHQ MARCOM. Details of the procurement card can be found in paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3.

1.3 Who should read this notice

This notice is for UK VAT-registered businesses that make supplies to NATO visiting forces, NATO IMHQ and US military cemeteries in the UK. It is not intended for NATO visiting forces or NATO IMHQ officials, their personnel or their agents.

1.4 The law covering the reliefs in this notice

Many of the reliefs referred to in this notice have their basis in international agreements, for example the Agreement regarding the Status of Forces of Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty (Article XI) signed in London in 1951 (Cmd 9363) and the Agreement on the Status of International Military Headquarters set up pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Paris in 1952 (Cmnd 2777).

The Customs and Excise (Personal Reliefs for Special Visitors) Order 1992 provides for reliefs for individual members of visiting forces and IMHQs.

1.5 What VAT zero rating is

Subject to the conditions being met, VAT relief for NATO visiting forces is usually provided by allowing the supplier to treat the supply of goods or services as a zero-rated supply. This means the supplier does not charge any VAT on the goods or services, but can reclaim any input VAT incurred in making those supplies. Further information about these procedures and the record-keeping requirements is contained in VAT guide (Notice 700).

2. General scope of the reliefs

2.1 Customers who are entitled to receive tax and duty-free goods and services

You can supply goods and services free of tax and duty to the following, provided the conditions described in this notice are fulfilled:

  • any NATO visiting forces based in the UK: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and United States of America (USA)
  • the NATO IMHQ at Northwood and Innsworth
  • the American Battle Monuments Commission in respect of supplies of goods and services for the maintenance of the US military cemeteries at Brookwood and Madingley

The reliefs described in this notice are not available to British forces based in the UK. Neither are the reliefs generally available to visiting forces from non-NATO countries.

2.2 Taxes and duties that can be relieved

If you’re a UK VAT-registered business, provided you fulfil the conditions described in this notice, you can supply goods and services to NATO visiting forces free of:

  • VAT
  • Customs Duty
  • Excise Duty
  • Landfill Tax
  • Climate Change Levy

Subject to conditions, relief is also available from:

2.3 Restrictions on duty and tax-free goods after they’ve been sold

Goods which have been sold free of tax or duty to a UK-based NATO visiting force or a member of their personnel may not be sold on, given or otherwise disposed of to a person who does not enjoy the same privileges without payment to HMRC of the taxes and duties which have been relieved.

You may cancel a sale and, as supplier of the goods, take them back, provided you keep a full and accurate record of the transaction.

3. Supplies to US NATO visiting forces

3.1 Goods and services that can be supplied VAT or duty free for the official use of US NATO visiting forces

You can supply most goods or services free of VAT, and certain goods free of duty, provided at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a written contract or purchase order from an authorised US NATO visiting forces contracting officer
  • payment is made with a Government Procurement Card (GPC)
  • payment is made with a Procurement (PRO) card
  • payment is made with a Non-Appropriated Fund (NAF) card
  • you are supplying goods from a customs or excise warehouse
  • the goods have been imported and processed under the Inward Processing (IP) regime - more information is available in Notice 3001: customs special procedures for the Union Customs Code

This includes:

  • goods and services supplied to shops on US NATO bases in the UK (operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES))
  • resale outlets run by Morale Welfare and Recreation and Lodging
  • hotel accommodation you provide to members of US NATO visiting forces
  • road fuel used to transport US NATO forces’ goods, personnel or school children in the UK under a contract with the US NATO visiting force

The following paragraphs give detailed information on the conditions attached to these reliefs.

3.2 What a UK NATO visiting force written contract order is

If you supply goods or services to US NATO visiting forces in the UK for their official use, you can treat the supply as zero-rated for VAT purposes if you have a US NATO visiting force written contract or purchase order. The contract or purchase order must have an original signature of an authorised contracting officer of the US NATO visiting force. The signature must not be a rubber stamp, or a photocopy, and the contract or purchase order must include the following statement:

‘The goods and services listed are to be delivered at a price exclusive of VAT under arrangements agreed between the appropriate US authorities and HMRC (Reference PRIV 46/7). I hereby certify that these goods and/or services are being purchased for US NATO visiting force official purposes only’.

If the contract is for hotel accommodation:

  • the relieved supply must only be for overnight accommodation, inclusive or exclusive of breakfast - other food or drinks and other services cannot be relieved of VAT
  • the contract must include a reference to the category of personnel covered, for example Temporary Duty personnel
  • each time you supply accommodation under the contract, the force member must provide you with a purchase order from the base authority booking the accommodation

3.3 How the GPC works

The GPC is a Visa card with a special prefix: 4716. If payment is made with this card, you may zero rate the supply to the US NATO visiting force, for VAT purposes, on condition that:

  • the authorised buyer provides you with a letter from the contracting office that issued the GPC, stating that the goods or services are being supplied for the official use of the US NATO visiting force based in the UK
  • you retain the credit card receipt and letter as evidence that you have treated the supply as zero-rated

3.4 How the PRO card works

The PRO card is a Mastercard with a special prefix: 5405. If payment is made with this card, you may zero rate the supply to the US NATO visiting force, for VAT purposes, on condition that:

  • the authorised buyer provides you with a letter from the general manager of AAFES stating that the goods or services are being supplied for the official use of the US NATO visiting force based in the UK, an example of this letter is shown in section 11
  • you retain the credit card receipt and letter as evidence that you have treated the supply as zero-rated

3.5 How the NAF works

The NAF is a Visa card with a special prefix: 4485. If payment is made with this card, you may zero rate the supply to the US NATO visiting force, for VAT purposes, on condition that:

  • the authorised buyer provides you with a letter from the contracting office stating that the goods or services are being supplied for the official use of the US NATO visiting force based in the UK
  • you retain the credit card receipt and letter as evidence that you have treated the supply as zero-rated

3.6 How to obtain a refund of Excise Duty when transporting personnel or school children for US NATO visiting forces

a) Prior notification to HMRC

Contact the helpline to find out which HMRC office will refund the duty to you. You can contact our helpline by Telephone: 0300 200 3700 or by email using the appropriate form on the GOV.UK website.

After you’ve agreed a contract with the US NATO visiting force, but before you provide the services, contact your refund office so that they’re aware that you’re going to submit claims for a refund of Excise Duty on road fuel.

b) Calculate your Excise Duty refund claim

HMRC will refund to you the Excise Duty paid on fuel consumed in the UK on:

  • round trip journeys
  • journeys between your garage (or other place of overnight parking) and the point of first pick up, and return

This distance is the ‘allowable mileage’.

Unless you reach a separate agreement with HMRC, the amount you may claim for your bus and coach journeys must be calculated using the following standard fuel consumption factors:

  • up to 28 seats - 4.1 miles per litre
  • 29 to 53 seats - 2.7 miles per litre
  • over 53 seats - 1.95 miles per litre

The fuel consumption factors for cars and taxis must be based on the standard fuel consumption figure when the vehicle is travelling at 75 mph, as published in commercial sources.

You must use the following formula to calculate the amount of duty to be claimed.

Allowable mileage × the current rate of duty per litre ÷ by fuel consumption factor = claimable duty

c) Submit a quarterly claim

You should send your completed claims, together with the required supporting evidence, to your refund office as soon as possible after the end of each calendar quarter. If you make a late claim (more than 2 months after the end of the quarter), or do not have the information to support them, the claim may not be allowed. Your quarterly claims must be supported by the following documents or information:

  • copies of the invoices sent monthly to the US NATO visiting force Base Finance Officer covering the period of the claim and specifying the mileage performed
  • details of any school holidays or other occasions when the service did not run
  • details of all the vehicles used during the period of the claim:
  • registration number
  • seating capacity
  • performance in terms of miles per litre
  • a declaration as follows: ‘I declare that the prices indicated in the attached copy invoices relevant to this claim, are exclusive of Excise Duty paid on motor spirit and/or fuel. I further declare that the unloaded and loaded mileages indicated in the claim were necessarily performed for the fulfilment of the contract and that only fuel duty-paid at the unrebated rate of duty was used in all vehicles’

An example of a claim is in section 12.

3.7 How to obtain relief from Excise Duty when transporting goods for US NATO visiting forces

a) Prior notification to HMRC

Contact the VAT helpline to find out which HMRC office will refund the duty to you.

After you’ve agreed a contract with the US NATO visiting force, but before you provide the service, contact your refund office so that they’re aware that you’re going to submit claims for a refund of the Excise Duty on road fuel. You must provide them with:

  • the dates covered by the contract
  • the vehicles to be used and the tonnage (the tare weight)
  • the locations for loading and unloading
  • all details, including mileage and frequency, for the journeys involved
  • the expected total mileage for one month or quarter

You should inform your refund office of any new contracts or extensions to existing contracts, or the use of any vehicles giving a different fuel consumption (miles per litre) factor.

b) Calculate your Excise Duty refund claim

HMRC will refund to you the Excise Duty paid on fuel consumed in the UK on:

  • loaded round trip journeys
  • journeys between your garage (or other place of overnight parking) and the point of first pick up, and return

This distance is the ‘allowable mileage’.

Unless you reach a separate agreement with HMRC, the amount you may claim is worked out from the number of miles covered using the following standard fuel consumption factors:

  • 5 to 8 ton vehicles - 4.1 miles per litre
  • 9 to 13 ton vehicles - 3.1 miles per litre
  • 14 to 18 ton vehicles - 2.75 miles per litre
  • 19 to 24 ton vehicles - 2.5 miles per litre
  • over 24 ton vehicles - 2.0 miles per litre

If you’re using vehicles to which the tonnage scale does not apply, for example transit vans, you must agree the miles per litre factor with your refund office. This must be based on the most economical vehicle used.

The fuel consumption factors for cars and taxis are based on the standard fuel consumption figures when the vehicle is travelling at 75 mph, as published in commercial sources.

You must use the following formula to work out the amount of duty to be claimed.

Allowable mileage × the current rate of duty per litre ÷ by fuel consumption factor = claimable duty

c) Submit a quarterly claim

You must send your completed claims, together with the required supporting evidence, to your refund office as soon as possible after the end of each calendar quarter. If you make late claims (more than 2 months after the end of the quarter), or do not have the information to support them, they may not be allowed.

To support your claim you must provide the following:

  • a statement or certificate from the US NATO visiting force confirming that the work has been carried out
  • your written declaration that the mileage involved has been wholly and exclusively performed in pursuance of the US NATO visiting force contract
  • a statement by you that you have paid Road Fuel Duty
  • your written undertaking that you will pass on to the US NATO visiting force the refund of fuel duty if your invoice to them included this charge and they have paid it

3.8 Other duty reliefs on supplies to US NATO visiting forces for their official use

Subject to conditions the following reliefs are available:

  • US NATO visiting forces may be supplied with tax and duty-free goods from a customs or excise warehouse for their official use as explained in section 8
  • US NATO visiting forces may also be allowed relief from Landfill Tax as explained in section 9

If you import goods and process them under the IP regime (more information is available in Notice 3001: customs special procedures for the Union Customs Code) you can supply them to US NATO visiting force free of Customs Duty.

If you operate a brewery you can supply beer to a US NATO visiting force base free of Excise Duty (more information is available in Notice 226: Beer Duty).

You can supply road fuel for the official use of US NATO visiting force free of VAT and Excise Duty.

If you’re registered for Climate Change Levy, you can make supplies of fuel and power to US visiting forces without having to account for the levy.

3.9 Goods or services supplied VAT and duty free to members of US NATO visiting force based in the UK

You can supply a motor vehicle to a member of the US NATO visiting forces based in the UK free of VAT. The conditions are explained in section 7.

Members of US NATO visiting forces may remove goods from a customs warehouse free of Customs Duty and VAT. The conditions are explained in section 8.

You can supply other goods or services costing at least £100, including VAT, to a member of US NATO visiting forces in the UK for their personal use, or for the use of their family, VAT free under the US ‘VAT-free purchase scheme’. The conditions are explained in paragraph 3.10.

You can supply goods from a concession shop on a US NATO visiting force base in the UK free of VAT. The conditions are explained in paragraph 3.11.

3.10 How the US ‘VAT-free purchase scheme’ works

You may treat a supply of goods or services to US NATO service personnel as zero-rated for VAT, provided the VAT-inclusive value of the order is over £100. The supply may not include any supply of land, nor any supply of a motor vehicle (more information is available in section 7 for motor vehicles).

You must first provide the buyer with a written quote stating the price of the goods or services excluding VAT. Make sure that the quote and any invoice is addressed to a named member of the US NATO visiting force.

The buyer must then give you a US government cheque in pounds sterling and 2 copies of a US Forces VAT-Free Purchase Certificate, as shown in section 13. This certificate must be signed by an authorised signatory of the US NATO visiting force. Sign one copy of the certificate and return it to the buyer. Keep the second copy of the certificate in your VAT records as evidence to support the VAT-free supply.

This is a voluntary scheme and if you do not wish to participate you are not required to do so. In that case you must charge and account for VAT in the usual way.

3.11 US AAFES concession shops

If you’re authorised by the US NATO visiting force to operate a concession shop on a US NATO base in the UK, you must keep a ‘Concessionaire’s Daily Sales Report’. This must list each purchase and include the following statement:

‘a) I certify that this is a true and complete summary of sales made to entitled personnel for …………………….. (date) for and on behalf of …………………………………………………. (name of concessionaire)

…………………………………. (Concession Manager)

b) The price to be paid for the goods and/or services liable to VAT covered by this summary shall be exclusive of VAT in accordance with the arrangements agreed between the appropriate US authorities and HMRC (ref: PRIV 46/7).

…………………………………. (Exchange Manager)’

The concession manager must complete and sign the certificate and produce 2 copies of the report to the AAFES authorities. Their US NATO base Exchange Manager signs one copy and returns it to you. You must keep the certified copy of the report as evidence to support the tax-free supply of goods.

4. Supplies to NATO visiting forces (other than US forces)

4.1 Goods and services supplied VAT and duty free to a non-US NATO visiting force for its official use

NATO visiting forces are entitled to tax and duty relief on most goods and services supplied to them for official purposes, but in most cases they obtain this relief by claiming a VAT or duty refund from HMRC. To recover the VAT (and Excise Duty where applicable), they must present evidence of payment of tax and duty.

So if you are asked to make a supply of goods and services to these NATO visiting forces you must make this supply inclusive of VAT and duty and provide them with evidence that the tax and duty has been paid. For VAT purposes this will be in the form of a VAT invoice or a modified VAT invoice for purchases totalling £250 or more or a less detailed VAT invoice for purchases of less than £250 including VAT.

More information on what must be included in a VAT invoice is contained in VAT guide (Notice 700).

4.2 How to supply goods to members of a non-US NATO visiting force so that they can recover VAT and Excise Duty

You can supply a motor vehicle to a member of NATO visiting forces based in the UK free of VAT. Section 7 explains the conditions.

When members of a NATO visiting force pay VAT on purchases of consumer durable goods, they may obtain a refund of the VAT from HMRC. Examples of such goods are domestic electrical equipment, furnishings, similar household effects, items of jewellery and clothing. They are also entitled to a refund of Excise Duty and VAT on road fuel.

If you’re asked to make a supply of such goods to a member of a NATO visiting force you must make this supply inclusive of VAT. You should provide your customer with evidence that they have paid VAT in the form of a VAT invoice or a modified VAT invoice for purchases totalling £250 or more or a less detailed VAT invoice for purchases of less than £250 including VAT.

More information on what must be included in a VAT invoice is contained in VAT guide (Notice 700).

4.3 Other duty reliefs available on supplies to NATO visiting forces

You can supply goods free of tax and duty from a customs or excise warehouse as explained in section 8.

NATO visiting forces are entitled to obtain relief from Landfill Tax as explained in section 9.

If you’re registered for Climate Change Levy, you can make supplies of fuel and power free of the levy.

If you import goods and process them under the IP regime (more information is available in Notice 3001: customs special procedures for the Union Customs Code) you can supply them to US NATO visiting forces free of Customs Duty.

5. Supplies to NATO IMHQ

5.1 Goods and services supplied VAT and duty free to a NATO IMHQ for its official use

You can supply goods or services free of VAT to a NATO IMHQ, provided you have an official contract or purchase order from the IMHQ authority.

The contract or purchase order must be:

  • with a specific and named NATO IMHQ
  • approved by an authorised signatory of the NATO IMHQ
  • signed by the authorised signatory of the NATO IMHQ - this must not be a rubber stamp or photocopy, and any faxed order must be confirmed in writing

The contract or purchase order must also include the following statement:

‘I hereby certify that the goods and services listed are being purchased for official use by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and should be supplied free of VAT in accordance with the agreement with HMRC (reference PRIV 59/16)’.

If you receive a contract or purchase order containing these elements, the supply may be zero-rated for VAT purposes. You should obtain an official receipt on completion of the supply and retain this with the contract or purchase order in your VAT records as supporting evidence for the VAT-free supply.

If you have any doubt over your customer’s eligibility to receive supplies free of VAT, contact the VAT helpline.

5.2 Goods and services supplied to the NATO IMHQ MARCOM for its official use

You can supply goods and services free of VAT to the IMHQ MARCOM, provided you have an official contract or an exemption certificate from the IMHQ MARCOM. The guidance in paragraph 5.1 should be followed for official contracts.

For goods and services not covered by an official contract, supplies to the IMHQ MARCOM can be made free of VAT, for the official use of the IMHQ, provided:

  • you have an exemption certificate from an authorised signatory of the NATO IMHQ MARCOM
  • the exemption certificate is signed by an authorised signatory of the NATO IMHQ MARCOM - this must not be a rubber stamp or photocopy, and any faxed order must be confirmed in writing
  • payment is made with an Allied Command Operations Purchase Card (APC)

The exemption certificate must include the following statement:

‘I hereby certify that the goods and services listed are being purchased on behalf of the HQ Allied Maritime Command for official use by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and should be supplied free of VAT in accordance with the agreement with HMRC (reference PRIV 59/16)’.

If you have any doubt over your customer’s eligibility to receive supplies free of VAT, contact the VAT helpline.

5.3 How the APC works

The APC is a Mastercard with a special prefix: 5587. When payment is made with this card, you may zero rate the supply to the NATO IMHQ MARCOM, for VAT purposes, on condition that:

  • the authorised buyer provides you with an exemption certificate as explained in paragraph 5.2
  • you retain the credit card receipt and exemption certificate as evidence that you have treated the supply as zero-rated

5.4 Goods and services supplied VAT and duty free to a member of a NATO IMHQ

You can treat US members of a NATO IMHQ in the same way as members of the US NATO visiting force. More information is available in paragraph 3.9, paragraph 3.10 and paragraph 3.11.

You can treat other members of a NATO IMHQ in the same way as members of other NATO visiting forces. More information is available in paragraph 4.2 and paragraph 4.3.

6. Supplies to the American Battle Monuments Commission

6.1 Goods or services supplied duty and VAT free to the American Military Cemetery and Memorial at Madingley, Cambridge and Brookwood, Surrey

You can supply any goods or services free of VAT to the American Military Cemetery and Memorial at Madingley, Cambridge and Brookwood, Surrey provided they’re solely used for the maintenance of those cemeteries. If you’re registered for Climate Change Levy, you can make supplies of fuel and power free of the levy.

6.2 How to make the supply VAT free

In order to zero rate your supply for VAT purposes, you must have an official written order or contract from the American Battle Monuments Commission in Paris, or from the American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Cambridge, signed by an official of one of these organisations. The order or contract must certify that the goods or services are supplied for the maintenance of US military cemeteries in the UK. When the supply is complete, you must obtain and keep in your VAT records an official receipt, or a stamped certificate, to show that the goods or services have been received in accordance with the terms of the contract or order.

Then you may treat the supply as if it were zero-rated for the purposes of VAT.

7. Motor vehicles

7.1 If you supply a vehicle VAT free to a NATO visiting force or to one of its members

Subject to conditions you can supply a motor vehicle VAT free to any NATO visiting force in the UK for its official use.

Subject to conditions you can also supply a motor vehicle VAT free to a member of any NATO visiting force for their personal use or for the use of their family. Each individual is allowed to own only one motor vehicle free of VAT at any one time, plus a second if his or her spouse is present in the UK. No relief is available to anyone who is a UK national, or anyone who is permanently resident in the UK.

7.2 How to make the supply

There are 2 ways of supplying a motor vehicle VAT free to a NATO visiting force or a member of a NATO visiting force:

  • you can supply one on removal from a customs warehouse, as explained in section 8
  • if the vehicle was manufactured in the EU or European Free Trade Area (EFTA), or if the supply is for the official use of US NATO visiting forces, you can supply one by following the procedure explained in paragraph 7.3, paragraph 7.4 and paragraph 7.5

7.3 How to check if a customer is entitled to a VAT-free vehicle

Your customer must demonstrate entitlement to receive a tax-free vehicle. If the vehicle is for the official use of a US NATO visiting force, they must follow the procedures described in paragraphs 3.2, paragraph 3.3, paragraph 3.4 and paragraph 3.5. In all other cases, your customer must provide a properly completed and authorised form C&E941 if the supply is from a customs warehouse or form C&E941A in other cases.

When you receive the completed form you may supply the vehicle free of VAT. You should keep the form with your records to prove entitlement to the VAT relief.

7.4 Completed and authorised forms C&E941 and C&E941A

If your customer is removing the motor vehicle from a customs warehouse, they must complete form C&E941. In other cases they must complete form C&E941A.

If your customer is from the US NATO visiting force, the Pass and Registration Section of the force must authorise the form.

In other cases the NATO visiting force or NATO IMHQ must authorise the form.

In both cases the completed form must also be authorised by HMRC.

If you wish to register the vehicle for your customer, you should ask the customer for a further copy of the form and submit it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea.

7.5 The VAT second-hand margin scheme

You cannot supply NATO visiting forces with VAT-free goods under the VAT second-hand margin scheme (more information is available in Notice 718: the VAT margin scheme and global accounting). If you have a non-qualifying second-hand vehicle in your margin scheme records which you wish to treat as a zero-rated supply to a member of a NATO visiting force, you must clearly record in your second-hand stock book that the vehicle has been supplied free of VAT to a member of a NATO visiting force outside the margin scheme.

You must obtain and keep in your records a completed and authorised form C&E941A.

8. Customs and excise warehousing

8.1 How to supply alcoholic drinks or tobacco products from a UK excise warehouse

If you operate an approved excise warehouse in the UK, you can supply alcoholic drinks and tobacco products free of VAT and Excise Duty to a UK-based NATO visiting force or NATO IMHQ.

Before you make the supply, the NATO visiting force authority must complete and present a form C185. This form must include full details of all the goods required by the members of the NATO force. This document is the authority to release the goods from your warehouse. The form C185 must be signed by an authorised signatory of the NATO visiting force. You must keep these documents in your warehouse records.

Once you have the official authorisation for the delivery of the goods, follow the procedures laid down in Notice 197: receipt into and removal from an excise warehouse of excise goods.

8.2 How to supply goods from a customs warehouse

8.2.1 Goods for the official use of a UK-based NATO visiting force or a NATO IMHQ

The NATO visiting force or NATO IMHQ removing the goods from the warehouse must make a customs declaration on form C88, using Customs Procedure Code (CPC) 40 71 007. Information on the completion of form C88 is contained in the Tariff. Box 8 of the form must show the name and Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number of the NATO visiting force or NATO IMHQ.

You can then release the goods free of tax and duty.

Additional requirements exist for removals of motor vehicles, these are described in section 7.

8.2.2 Goods for the personal use of a UK-based member of a NATO visiting force or a NATO IMHQ

The entitled person removing the goods from the warehouse must make a customs declaration on form C88 using CPC 40 71 010. Information on the completion of form C88 is contained in the Tariff. Box 8 of the form must show the name and EORI of the NATO visiting force or NATO IMHQ.

Before you release the goods you must receive a completed form C2 or (for US forces only) DD1434. You may then release the goods free of tax and duty.

Additional requirements exist for removals of motor vehicles, these are described in section 7.

9. Landfill Tax

9.1 If you supply waste disposal services to NATO visiting forces without charging Landfill Tax

To supply waste disposal services to NATO visiting forces without charging Landfill Tax, you must have an official contract with the NATO visiting force authority showing:

  • length of the contract including the end date
  • name and location of the NATO visiting force bases in the UK that you will cover
  • type and the amount of waste to be removed

You must also obtain an exemption certificate from the NATO visiting force base Civil Engineer’s office.

9.2 Exemption certificates

The NATO visiting force base Civil Engineer will issue a certificate each month indicating the tonnage of waste to be removed and placed in landfill sites. This amount is the Approved Monthly Tonnage.

The certificate must state the base where you will collect the waste and the landfill site where it is to be deposited.

In the case of landfilled waste from US NATO visiting forces, the exemption certificate must contain the following declaration:

‘The Landfill Tax liable on the disposal of active waste under this contract by landfill is to be relieved under the arrangements agreed between the appropriate authorities of the US visiting forces and HMRC reference: RDM 428/601/01. I hereby certify that this is official US forces active waste’.

In the case of landfill waste from other NATO visiting forces, the exemption certificate must contain a similar declaration referring to an agreement between the force concerned and HMRC and certifying that this is a NATO visiting forces waste.

9.3 What you must do with the exemption certificate

Pass the certificate to the landfill site operator. The operator will use it to claim a reduction on their Landfill Tax Return. The operator must keep the original certificates for inspection by HMRC.

10. Further help and advice

If you make supplies to NATO visiting forces in other EU member states, please refer to VAT and the single market (Notice 725) and Notice 197: receipt into and removal from an excise warehouse of excise goods.

If you make supplies of goods to visiting forces outside the EU, please refer to VAT on goods exported from the UK (Notice 703).

11. Specimen letter to be presented with PRO card

(referred to in paragraph 3.4)

AAFES

Army and Air Force Exchange Service
UK Consolidated Exchange
Unit 5280, Box 420
APO AE 09464 - 0420

or

Building 975
RAF Lakenheath
Brandon
Suffolk
IP27 9PN

30 March 2002

UK CONSOLIDATED EXCHANGE GM

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Dear Sir

This letter informs you that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) now uses the Master Card issued under the Wells Fargo Bank to purchase goods and services. Purchases made using this credit card are for official US government use and are therefore exempt from VAT.

This exemption is in accordance with the arrangements between the U.S. Government and HMRC (reference Priv 46/7) which states that goods/services listed on the invoice have been received in full and that the prices are correct.

If you have any questions pertaining to the VAT exemption of the AAFES Purchase Card please contact the Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3700 or by email using the appropriate form available on the GOV.UK website.

If you have any questions regarding the AAFES Purchase Card please do not hesitate to contact Graham Griffiths, Telephone: 01842 827928.

Sincerely

ROBERT A SMITH
General Manager

12. Specimen claim for duty on road fuel used in the conveyance of personnel and school children

(referred to in paragraph 3.6)

Month: May 2003

US contract: F 61775-82-C-0001

Delivery order number: F 61775-82-M-0134

Route number Date of journeys   Number of days
journeys were made
Allowable mileage per day Total mileage
1 3rd to 7th
10th to 14th
17 to 21st
24th to 29th
20 unloaded 4

loaded 57
1220
2 (serving English school) 3rd to 7th
10th to 14th
17 to 21st
24th to 29th
20 unloaded 2

loaded 45
940
      Total mileage 2160

Journeys not made on routes 1 and 2 on 31 May - Memorial day, US public holidays and when school closed.

Details of the vehicle:

a. SQF 330P
b. 32 seats
c. 2.7 miles per litre

Refund claim

2160 (total mileage) × £0.4499 (duty rate £ per litre) ÷ 2.6 (agreed miles per litre factor) = £359.92

I declare that the prices indicated in the attached copy invoices relevant to this claim are exclusive of Excise Duty paid on motor spirit and/or fuel.

I further declare that the unloaded and loaded mileages in this claim were necessarily performed for the fulfilment of the contract and that only fuel duty paid at the rebated rated of duty was used in all vehicles. I claim repayment of duty accordingly.

Signed: ……………………………… (Contractor)

Date: ………………………………….. (Contractor)

13. US forces’ VAT-free purchase certificate

(referred to in paragraph 3.10)

Check/Certificate Number: ……………………………………………………..

The goods and/or services listed below are to be delivered at a price exclusive of Value Added Tax under arrangements agreed upon between the appropriate US Authorities and HMRC (reference: Priv 46/7). I hereby certify that the goods and/or services are being purchased for United States Visiting Force purposes only.

……………………………………………………………(Seal)

Government representative

……………………………………………………………Date

On …………. the following item(s) were purchased by …..…… (name)

(date)

………………………………… £…………………… (exclusive of VAT)

………………………………… £…………………… (exclusive of VAT)

………………………………… £…………………… (exclusive of VAT)

………………………………… £…………………… (exclusive of VAT)

………………………………… £…………………… (exclusive of VAT)

………………………………… £…………………… (exclusive of VAT)

The TOTAL price exclusive of Value Added Tax was £…………………

Shop/Store Address: ………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Shop/Store Phone: ……………………………………………………..

……………………………………………..Supplier’s printed name

……………………………………………Supplier’s signature

14. Specimen exemption certificate to be presented with the APC

(referred to in paragraph 5.2)

Headquarters Allied Maritime Command
Northwood Headquarters,
Middlesex,
HA6 3HP

Purchasing & Contracts Office
Room 3.28, Atlantic Building

Certificate of relief from duties and Value Added Tax

Reference:

A. HM Revenue and Customs Reference PRIV 59/16
B. HMRC Notice 431 (January 2015) Paragraph 5.1

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hereby certify that the goods and/or services listed are being purchased on behalf of the HQ Allied Maritime Command for official use by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and should be supplied free of VAT in accordance with the agreement with HMRC reference (PRIV 59/16).

15. Glossary

Term Description
AAFES Army and Air Force Exchange Service
APC Allied Command Operations Purchase Card
Customs Procedure Code A 6-digit code that must be entered on a C88 declaration form to indicate the type of import, export or other procedure. The customs procedure codes to be used are listed and explained in the integrated Tariff of the UK (usually referred to as the Tariff).
European Free Trade Area (EFTA) The current members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
European Union (EU) The current members are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
GPC US Government-wide Procurement Card
NAF The US NATO visiting forces’ Non-Appropriate Fund card
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NATO visiting force A visiting force from a NATO country, when stationed outside its home country.
NATO Military Headquarters HQ organisations and outstations set up by NATO as part of its military structure. These include Allied Maritime Command in Northwood and HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps at Innsworth.
PRO card The US NATO visiting forces’ Procurement Card.
Visiting force A body, contingent or attachment of the armed forces of a sovereign state stationed in another sovereign state on the invitation of the host state’s government, or a member of such a body. In this notice this term includes civilian staff accompanying the force.

Putting things right

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If you are still unhappy, find out how to complain to HMRC.

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Published 6 July 2016