APO: no personal business use

Robert Szostek
HQUSAREUR Provost Marshal Public Affairs

Military customs investigators recently uncovered several German tax violations in which mail-order items were imported through the Army Post Office for use in someone’s part-time business.

“German tax authorities will want the tax and duty fees due on those goods because they were intended for commercial use or resale,” said Bill Johnson, director of the USAREUR Customs Executive Agency.

He added that items sent through the APO are exempt from these levies because they are for personal use only.

One may use the APO to order things for ones self or your immediate family from companies located outside Germany.

If one wants to import things for resale, commercial business or to give to someone not authorized customs privileges, one must use the regular civilian mail or a parcel service, and pay any import duties and taxes. Not doing so is  a breach in customs and tax laws by evading those taxes.

This rule even applies if one wants to buy articles for volunteer organizations you support, Mr. Johnson said.