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Starting on Monday, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service will require everyone to show their identification card, vehicle registration and fuel ration card or coupons prior to pumping fuel at AAFES stations.

"Requiring this check prior to pumping is necessary to protect the tax-free fuel benefit for US Forces within Germany," according to a statement issued Friday by the exchange.

The requirement is in response to customs violations by AAFES customers who pumped fuel without having enough ration to cover their would-be purchases.

"If you pump the fuel and then you realize you’ve gone over your ration limit for the month, at that point there’s a customs violation, which AAFES has to report," said Judd Anstey, an AAFES spokesman in Dallas.

Because they can’t suck the fuel out of the tank, the violation has to be reported, he said. The requirement to show paperwork proving eligibility to pump fuel at AAFES stations "is an attempt to reduce customs violations," he said.

The ration control system provides data about what is and isn’t a valid transaction, allowing the exchange and customs officials to easily identify customs violations, according to Dave Mattingly, the fuel card program manager for Installation Management Command – Europe.

Now that all that factual information is available, they’re finding that there are no customs violations at off-base Esso stations, where customers who exceed their ration and attempt to purchase fuel at Esso stations off base are charged the full off-base price.

All the violations have been on base, where customers have pumped fuel they weren’t authorized to take. "Well, we’ve got to continue to clean this up because the German government’s expectation is zero tolerance" for violations, said Mattingly.

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