***image1***I would like to know why the Air Force here at Ramstein issues ration
cards for folks to purchase alcohol and tobacco items on base? I
understand that this is more of a government issue than a base one but
the logic does not make any sense at all.
If I am not mistaken the ration card program is something left over
from World War II when troops would buy said items and sell them to the
locals for a higher price.
Nowadays one can go off base and purchase all the cigarettes, alcohol
and tobacco that they wish without the hassle of dealing with the Air
Force on this issue. It makes no sense whatsoever that this program
exists when all these items are readily available on the local economy
and sometimes at cheaper prices. What can be done to get rid of this
Thank you for allowing us to clarify the policy on what purchases
require a ration card. Under the current U.S./German Status of Forces
Agreement, all U.S. personnel buying coffee, cigarettes and liquor at
AAFES and Commissary stores in Germany must show their ration card to
the cashier at the time of purchase and have it annotated.
As part of the SOFA, this requirement is part of a legal binding
agreement between the U.S. government and the host nation and is aimed
at helping to prevent black marketing activities on cigarettes and
liquor since these products are taxed in Germany and thus usually more
expensive on the local economy.
Although the German government no longer imposes taxes on coffee, the
SOFA still contains language that it is a controlled item. Thus, all
cashiers at the base exchange, shoppettes and commissaries should ask
for a ration card when coffee is purchased. Store managers have been
requested to emphasize this policy to their em-ployees.