In principle, all HQ JFCBS personnel stationed in the Netherlands are subject to Dutch law. Certain categories of personnel may, however, in specific circumstances be subject to the law of their own state in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, respectively the Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters set up pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty (Paris Protocol).
The Royal Marechaussee Representative (RMR)
Laws in The NetherlandsA unit of the Royal Marechaussee is located just inside the camp building 100, telephone 045 - 4058480 or HQ JFCBS ext. 2650. This unit consists of the Royal Marechaussee Representative (RMR) to HQ JFCBS together with a small staff. The RMR is a full colonel of the Royal Marechaussee, with overall responsibility for the duties performed by the Marechaussee with respect to HQ JFCBS and the USAG at Schinnen.
He is tasked with the co-ordination and execution of external security measures. He is also the liaison officer for these Headquarters, National Delegations and all organisations having a direct or indirect relation with HQ JFCBS and USAG on behalf of the Netherlands Justice and Police Authorities for police technical, criminal and external security matters. The RMR is granted special authority to effect registration of privately owned firearms. He also mediates in matters concerning the Netherlands' Alien Act, especially for the application of Permits of Residence for non-Dutch civilian personnel and all family members.
The Netherlands authorities may, if so requested by the Sending State Military Authorities, waive their primary right of jurisdiction where such a waiver is considered to be of particular importance to the Sending State.
Criminal investigation in the Netherlands is, in principle, is conducted by the Dutch Police, but the police authority for HQ JFCBS is the Royal Marechaussee. This is a Dutch military police force whose major task is policing the Netherlands Armed Forces, Foreign Armed Forces and International Headquarters, including personnel and their family members. Police service in respect of these headquarters in the South Limburg area is dedicated to the Brigade Royal Marechaussee Limburg-Zuid, telephone 045-4007800 (24 hours a day).
A police-officer of the Royal Marechaussee Brigade Limburg-Zuid is stationed in the office of the Royal Marechaussee Representative in building 100 at HQ JFCBS to assist you in police matters during office hours. It is also possible to ask for the assistance of the local police. For immediate or life threatening circumstances call 112 or otherwise call 0900-8844. But most of the cases are passed to the Royal Marechaussee.
Privately Owned Firearms
Netherlands law prohibits the possession of fire- arms and ammunition (parts of firearms/ ammunition included) and all the related activities such as transport, import, export,etc.
A firearm is any instrument capable of firing a projectile by explosion. Firearms imitations are also subject to Netherlands Law and are prohibited. Written prior authorisation from the Netherlands authorities is mandatory in respect of possession, purchase and importation of a firearm for private owner- ship. This ruling does not apply if the firearm(s) is (are) imported with household goods at the time of arrival in this country. If any privately owned firearm has already been imported into the Netherlands without written authorisation, it should be reported to the RMR's Firearms Registration Department without delay in order to obtain authorisation.
Non-Dutch HQ JFCBS personnel are exempted from:
- Dutch taxation in respect of their salaries and emoluments;
- Dog Tax (Hondenbelasting);
- Immovable Property Tax (onroerend goed Belasting).
This property tax is divided into two parts: The "user part," to be paid by the tenant, and the "owner part," to be paid by the landlord. Exemption is granted for the "user part" only. Should you receive a bill for any of the taxes for which exemption has been granted, the girocard should be returned to the Tax Collector (Ontvanger der Directe Belastingen), to Kloosterweg 22 in Heerlen, with a note saying: "As a non-Dutch member of the HQ JFCBS Staff, I am exempt from payment of this tax."
Income as a result of a profitable enterprise or out of privately owned immovable property in the Netherlands, is subject to Netherlands Income or Capital Tax (Inkomsten - or Vermogensbelasting).
Tax Free Scheme
The "Customs Regulation HQ JFCBS" allow eligible personnel to purchase goods from licensed local merchants free of Value Added Tax, VAT ('BTW' in Dutch).
Transfer of Goods
The transfer, by way of either sale, gift or otherwise of any goods obtained tax-free is prohibited. Abuse of tax concessions is a punishable offence. However, in special cases such transfer may be authorised by the Netherlands Customs Authorities by request on conditions imposed by those authorities.
Levies, which are charges for services rendered, have to be paid. The main levies are:
Environmental, Health & Safety Branch
- Water purification levy (Waterzuiveringsheffing);
- Sewage charge (Rioolrecht);
- Garbage Collection charge (Reinigingsrecht).
An Environmental, Health & Safety branch deals entirely with environmental control and health & safety matters at HQ JFCBS and its installations in The Netherlands. Host Nation environmental and H&S (ARBO) legislation is applicable to HQ JFCBS.
For more information call the HQ Support Group E, H&S branch, ext. 3018 or 3470.
Legal Advisors' Office
The above is only a partial review of legal matters. There are many other areas where personnel might wish to seek legal advice and assistance with personal matters. To avoid misunderstandings, it must be noted that the HQ JFCBS Legal Advisors will normally not deal with personal private legal matters. Therefore it is recommended to obtain (Dutch) legal aid insurance coverage while staying in the Netherlands. In a specific case one may also wish to consult a lawyer. HQ JFCBS maintains good relations with a local law firm (in Brunssum) that is familiar with typical HQ JFCBS personnel private legal matters. The Office of the Legal Adviser will advise on how to proceed.
All Dutch residents from 14 years old should be able to produce an identification document in public places upon request by authorities. Valid ID papers for Dutch nationals can be a passport, driver's license or European ID card.
Residents of the European Union will have to carry a passport or a EU/EER residence permit; other nationalities will have to carry their Dutch Permit of Residence (alien ID card).