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Overseas Commissary Shopping

The chart below shows the current overseas privileges. As host-nation laws and conditions may change, as well as treaty obligations of the United States, before traveling, it is recommended all travelers check with the military customs in the country(s) you are visiting. You may find the following Internet address/phone numbers helpful in planning your overseas visits.


Korea: Yongsan Customs Office, DSN 738-5101/5110. Additional information may be found on the J1 Ration Control Program website.

CATEGORY Active Duty U.S. Military, DoD Civilians & family members Active Duty U.S. Military, DoD Civilians & family members Retired U.S. Military & family members Retired U.S. Military & family members
STATUS Assigned or TDY to specific country On leave from another country/area, not from U.S Visiting from U.S. Residing in specific county
Belgium YES, See note 1 NO NO See note 2
Germany YES, See note 1 See note 3 See note 4 See note 4
Italy YES, See note 1 See note 5 See note 6 See note 6
Netherlands YES, See note 1 NO NO NO
Portugal YES See note 9 See note 9 See note 9
Saudi Arabia See note 8 NO NO NO
Spain YES, See note 1 NO NO NO
Turkey YES, See note 1 NO NO NO
United Kingdom YES, See note 1 NO NO See note 7
Japan YES YES See note 10 See note 10
Korea See note 12 See note 12 See note 12 See note 12
Guam YES, See note 11 YES, See note 11 YES YES
Puerto Rico YES, See note 11 YES, See note 11 YES YES
Cairo, Egypt See note 13 Privileges
U.S. military personnel, DoD civilian personnel, designated mission personnel, and their dependents, with duty-free status working under the purview of the Cairo Embassy mission. YES
U.S. military personnel TDY to Egypt in support of the security assistance mission who have appropriate identification and TDY orders stamped by the Office of Military Cooperation, Egypt (OMC-E) Personnel Resource Management Office. YES
U.S. military retirees, military reservists and their dependents with duty free status working under an active Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract subject to the supervision of the OMC-E YES
Activity duty or retired military personnel (and their dependents) visiting Cairo on vacation. NO
Reservists/Guardsmen on inactive duty training, and military retirees living in Egypt who are not working under an active FMS contract. NO
Spouses of unaccompanied Active Duty, Retired Military or American State Department Employees assigned to the Cairo Embassy mission and on duty free status TEMPORARY ACCESS, See note 14


  1. Personnel from outside the NATO area, who are TDY for less than 30 days must have their TDY orders stamped by the local billeting office for entry to a commissary facility and to purchase rationed items. These personnel who are on TDY for 30 days or more, must obtain a ration card for entry to the facilities in Turkey, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, and to purchase rationed items in all countries.
  2. Privileges may be granted on a case-by-case basis by the Commander, USAG BENELUX, in coordination with the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium (Authority: CINCUSAREUR/ADAGX Letter, 19 November 1981). You will need to have an AE Form 600-700A issued by the installation authorities if your request is approved. This is a controlled item like an ID card and is shown at the commissary checkout. Without it you will not be able to shop at the commissary.
  3. Only personnel stationed in Europe and North Africa.
  4. Must be ordinary resident or visiting in Germany for a period of 30 days or more. Rationed items may not be purchased. All purchases are subject to the payment of a fixed rate tax to German customs. Entry to commissary and exchange facilities requires DD Form 2 (Retired ID card) or DD Form 1173 (Family Member ID card), and a German Customs Certificate. Customer must contact an in country Military Customs office (Authority: German Federal Ministry of Finance Decree, 20 July 1981; USAFER 400-4; and USAFE Supplement 1 to AFR 415-15). Also, see USAREUR 600-700 Chapter 15. Customers must obtain required documents before shopping.
  5. Personnel stationed in the NATO area may purchase rationed items. Personnel stationed outside the NATO area may not purchase rationed items (Authority: 40 TACG/JA Message 281330z Sep 87).
  6. May purchase non-rationed items only.
  7. Must be ordinary resident in the United Kingdom. Rationed items may not be purchased. All purchases are subject to the prepayment of a fixed rate tax to British customs authorities. Access to the facilities requires USAFE Form 174a. Customer must contact an in-country Military Customs office (Authority: 3AF-HM Customs and Excise Memorandum of Understanding, 28 March 1983, and 3AF Regulation 34-1) Customers must obtain required documents before shopping.
  8. Customer must check with their sponsoring unit for determination of privileges.
  9. Access to installation at times is limited to assigned and TDY personnel only.
  10. Family members may not be allowed to shop.
  11. To receive commissary privileges, U.S. Government civilians and their family members must be on a transportation agreement and show a DoD ID card specifically authorizing commissary privileges in order to make any purchases.
  12. Prior to shopping, a determination of privileges must be made with military customs. Customs paperwork/card must be presented to make commissary purchases.
  13. The importation of commissary goods is permitted for the benefit of military and civilian members of the mission, who enjoy duty free privileges. As such, certain personnel who would normally have access to the commissary in the U.S. will not be granted access to the commissary in Egypt. A valid DoD identification card, commissary card, or visitor access card issued by OMC-E Personnel Resource Management Branch is required for entry by all patrons into the commissary.
  14. Access is temporary and only when their names are placed on the Unaccompanied Spouse Access Roster by the OMC-E Personnel Resource Management Branch. Additionally, the spouse must be escorted by the authorized mission member and may not make any purchases in the commissary.

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