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British forces in Belgium

As a member of HM Forces posted to Belgium, you are entitled to buy a new, tax-free car, providing that your posting is for a min. six months.

There are two large NATO bases where British Forces in Belgium are based, NATO HQ in Brussels, currently being rebuilt on a 100 acre site opposite the old base, and SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) near Mons, which is the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations.

Most members of British Forces in Belgium buy a new, tax-free car to take advantage of the VAT savings and excellent military discounts on offer.

History of NATO

On April 4, 1949 twelve nations from Western Europe and North America signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C. A key feature of this treaty is Article 5, in which the signatory members agreed that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all."

Initially, however, the alliance was not very well prepared to carry out the mission of defending its territory. In addition to grave shortages of troops and equipment, there was no command structure to direct the overall defence of Western Europe.

All this changed after the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 in which fears where raised s that a similar threat could soon face Europe. The nations of the alliance agreed to increase their defence efforts and began working on the creation of an integrated military command structure with an overall commander for NATO forces in Europe.

History of SHAPE

SHAPE was originally located in Rocquencourt, France, 20 miles outside of Paris. In 1967 it moved to its present location, after France announced that it was withdrawing from the headquarters of Allied Command Europe and that SHAPE and its subordinate headquarters Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) must leave French territory by April 1967.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO heads of states and government officials met to transform the North Atlantic Alliance by extending the hand of friendship to countries of the former Warsaw Pact. At the Brussels Summit in January, 1994, the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme was launched. PfP countries were invited to send partnership Liaison Officers to the Partnership Coordination Cell (PCC) which is co-located at SHAPE. Many have done so. Their families now live, work, go to school and socialise with their NATO counterparts. The SHAPE community consists of over 6,000 people, and the average length of a tour at SHAPE for British Forces in Belgium is normally three to four years. For a full history of NATO and SHAPE, please see

Advanced Car Exports has supplied new, tax-free cars to British Forces in Belgium posted to both NATO HQ and SHAPE for many years, mostly through recommendations from friends and colleagues.

The vast majority of British Forces in Belgium buy UK spec, RHD vehicles, but lately we have received an increasing number of enquiries from customers buying LHD cars. We are happy to supply both.

SHAPE Rules and regulations

For detailed info for British Forces in Belgium on registering a tax-free car in SHAPE, please visit