German Sofa Agreement
Some items are rationed because a separate agreement between the UK and Germany explicitly limits the amount of cigarettes and tobacco, whisky, gin and coffee that a person can buy duty-free, which is why your NAAFI Ration Card must be filled every time you purchase these products. In order to ensure that the exempt allowance for these goods is not exceeded, they cannot be purchased tax-free in outdoor stores: for example, if you make your weekly purchases at REWE with an exempt order form, you cannot buy rationed items (for example. B a glass of coffee or a packet of cigarettes) as part of your tax-exempt “Big Shops”. Please remember that if rationed items are included in obtaining a larger purchase in tax exemption, then the tax on the total purchase will have to be refunded (yes, the total amount of the weekly shop!) not only on rationed items, and you may be subject to disciplinary action. A recent example of a bilateral agreement on the status of German armed forces abroad is the German-Russian transit agreement of 9 October 2003 (agreement between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Russian Federation on the transit of defence equipment and personnel through the territory of the Russian Federation with regard to the contributions of the Federal Army to the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan , Bundesgesetzblatt 2003 II P.1620). The German-Russian transit agreement is the first agreement under which the Russian Federation granted the right of transit to a NATO state for its troops. NATO SOFA is the basis of the legal status of military, American civilians and family members living in Germany. As part of an additional endorsement, employees in Germany also enjoy privileges that are not granted to other service members stationed in other European countries. These agreements concern the status, entry and departure of the host country, military training on the territory of the host country, justice, prosecutions, taxes, import and export laws, driving privileges, employment, the post office, school education, housing and much more. For each mission abroad, the status of the Bundeswehr is governed by a bilateral or multilateral agreement with the host country. The temporary deployment of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) armed forces and other third countries to Germany requires an agreement under the Visiting Forces Act of 20 July 1995 (Bundesgesetzblatt 1995 1995, p.554, Bundesgesetzblatt 2002 II P.2482).
Under Article 1 of the Act, the federal government can make such agreements with foreign states effective regarding the entry and short-term presence of their armed forces in Germany for exercises, overland transit and legal instrument training. So far, the federal government has concluded such agreements with Poland (agreement of 23 August 2000) and the Czech Republic (agreement of 31 July 2003). The SOFA agreement is complemented by another agreement that specifically applies to the six NATO countries (including the United Kingdom and the United States) that have a permanent military presence in Germany, the Complementary Agreement (or SA). SOFA was signed in 1951 and the SA was signed in 1959 and last updated in 1998 at the end of the Cold War.