General terms and conditions
1. OBJECTS CLAUSE
1.1. The purpose of these General Terms and Conditions is to regulate the mutual rights and obligations of DCC and the Client relating to the issuing, holdership and use of the VAT Card (“the Card”), and the relevant services provided (“the Services”) with regard to VAT refunds on the sale of the appropriate products (“the Products”) with the Client.
1.2. These Conditions also include operating conditions under which the Card and the relevant Services can be purchased in the DCC Retailers Network (“the Network”). As a service intermediary, DCC depends entirely on deliveries from third parties and therefore cannot be held liable for the availability of the Network and the Products in such Network.
1.3. The Card, the Products and the Services are exclusively reserved for parties entitled to exemption from VAT, consumer taxes and/or excise duty pursuant to regulations in the relevant Territory (“the Regulations”), by virtue of their special status there, either diplomatic or otherwise.
2.1. These General Terms and Conditions (“the Conditions”), the DCC application form, and all the DCC documentation attached to the Conditions jointly constitute the agreement (“the Agreement”).
2.2. DCC reserves the right to alter the Conditions at all times. Each alteration will enter into force 5 working days after the Client has been informed thereof in writing.
2.3. DCC reserves the right to refuse to honour an application for a Card.
Application Form: the form used by DCC for applications for the Card.
Account: a client number that DCC has opened for a Client.
VAT: Tax on added value in the Territory, also known as turnover tax.
DCC: Diplomatic Card Services B.V.
DCC Group: enterprises affiliated with DCC.
DCC Terminal: a DCC terminal provided to the Retailer.
E-certificate: a certificate used to verify and determine invoices that have been exempted from VAT after the transaction (Belgium).
Use: Official Use and Private Use in conformity with the Status.
GSM: the telephone number stated in the contract.
Card: one or more DCC VAT cards issued by DCC to a Client or a Client’s Representative.
Card Administrator: DCC or a third party that administers the Card.
Client: a natural person to whom DCC has issued a Card.
Minimum: the minimum amount on an invoice determined in conformity with the Regulations before this invoice can be eligible for exemption.
Regulations: the regulations in the Territory relating to the exemption of diplomats and other
eligible parties from VAT.
Retailer: a third party that has concluded a card acceptance agreement with DCC.
Services: services within the context of this Agreement.
Service Surcharge: a surcharge that DCC may charge for specific services.
SMS: message used to confirm authorisation with a PIN code.
Status: the relevant sub-division of the country status of diplomats and other parties exempt from VAT.
Territory: the national territory in which the Client holds an exemption privilege.
Transaction Costs: the fee charged by DCC for the Services, excluding VAT. VAT may be payable on these costs.
Co-signature Declaration: the tax declaration form drawn up by DCC.
Client’s Representative: an authorised person to whom a Client has given a Card under the Client’s responsibility.
Authorisation: the authorisation form drawn up by DCC.
4. APPLICATIONS FOR AND ISSUING OF CARDS
Opening an account: an account (“the Account”) will be opened if an application for a Card has been approved. For this purpose, the Client must fill in all the DCC application documents truthfully and correctly.
4.2. Issuing of Cards: DCC will issue the number of Cards under the Account requested by the Client in accordance with his entitlements pursuant to the Regulations in force. The Card will remain the property of DCC at all times, and must be surrendered by the Client upon request. The legitimate use of the Card will be administered at Client level. More than one Card may be in circulation at Client level, and the Client must sign for each of these Cards separately. However, invoicing will be maintained for each Account.
4.3. Client’s Representative: the Client may only give a Card to representatives authorised in conformity with the Regulations. Each of these representatives must be authorised separately. Providing a Client’s Representative with a Card gives this Representative full powers to use this Card as the authorised Representative of the Client. The Client must ensure that his Representative respects the current conditions and is responsible or jointly responsible for the consequences arising from his use of the Card.
4.4. Co-signing: if a contracting partner has signed an application for a Card, both parties are jointly and severally responsible for compliance in conformity with this Agreement. If the Client requires the co-signature of his diplomatic mission or service in order to obtain a Card, the Client must personally ensure that this co-signature is obtained. The Client must provide DCC with sufficient information on this matter.
4.5. Client’s duty to disclose information: the Client is personally responsible for providing DCC with prompt and correct information, and must notify DCC of any changes in writing, including changes relating to the Client’s privilege. The Client must also keep himself informed of the options available to him and of the Use of the Card. When applying for the Card, the Client must provide DCC with his status (A or B) and all data and personal data which are relevant to the processing of the application.
5. TRANSACTION SERVICE AND COSTS
5.1 The Service provided by DCC comprises the following: (1) provision of an approval system that electronically supervises VAT-exempt transactions at the Retailer’s, (2) setting up a network of Retailers in which VAT-exempt transactions can be electronically completed, (3) taking care of the administrative processing, and if necessary (4) taking care of the financial processing of the exempted VAT.
5.2 For this purpose, DCC will provide the Retailer with an approval system which will supervise the VAT processing, either fully or in addition to the Retailer’s payment terminal. This system will comprise a DCC Terminal, a Card and an SMS authorisation service.
5.3 The Client must pay Transaction Costs for the Services. These Costs consist of a percentage – to be determined by DCC – of the VAT-exempt invoice amount that the relevant Retailer sends to DCC for products supplied to the Client, excluding VAT. The Transaction Costs will be due and payable with effect from the date on which the transaction is effected. On receipt of the invoice, DCC is authorised to debit the Transaction Costs directly from the Client’s bank account.
5.4 In addition, DCC is authorised to charge administrative costs for creating and administering the Account.
6. APPROVAL SYSTEM
The Client’s Card can be identified by means of the DCC Card Reader. DCC will use this to send a confirmation SMS to the Client’s GSM. The Client must show this SMS privately to the relevant cashier at the Retailer’s. The transaction can only be confirmed after the Retailer has entered the SMS code.
7.1 VAT exemption can only take place starting from a Minimum established in the Regulations. The Client is not permitted to use the Card for purchases made by third parties who are not covered by the Account. If it emerges that the Minimum has not been attained for any reason whatsoever, DCC is entitled to recover from the Client any VAT that has been wrongly deducted.
8.1 The Client irrevocably authorises the Tax and Customs Administration and/or the Central Bureau for International Tax Treatment, or the relevant tax authority for VAT, to transfer all the VAT which the Client can reclaim from these tax authorities pursuant to the Regulations in connection with the supplying of Products, either tax-related or otherwise, to DCC’s bank account. DCC will succeed to these rights of the Client on the date of purchase, but no later than the date of payment of the Retailer.
8.2 The Client irrevocably authorises DCC to debit all Transaction Costs or administration costs payable to DCC by the Client, from the Client’s bank account.
8.3 If it emerges that the VAT is payable after all, and/or that the Retailer has erroneously exempted the Client from the VAT, or if DCC has sufficient reason to believe that such is the case, DCC is entitled to claim this from the Client and to debit the amount payable directly from the Client’s account. The Client irrevocably authorises DCC to perform such direct debit.
9. USE OF THE CARD
9.1. Validity: the Card may only be used to purchase products within the Territory. The Card must be rendered unusable and returned to DCC after expiry of the validity period.
9.2. Use of the Card:
9.2.1. The Card may only be used by the Client or his Representatives for the purpose of purchasing Products from a Retailer.
9.2.3. All Retailers have been instructed to adhere strictly to the product restrictions attaching to the Card at the time of purchase.
9.2.4. The Client may not use the Card in any way whatsoever to obtain sums in cash.
9.2.5. The Client must take great care of the Card issued to him or to his Representative. To this end, the Client or his Representative must take all the necessary measures to prevent loss, theft or damage, and to prevent the confidential authorisation PIN code from coming to the knowledge of persons who are not authorised to use the Card.
10. PURCHASES AND RISKS
10.1. Purchase of Products: the Card and this Agreement provide solely for the Service. Therefore, they have no relation whatsoever to purchasing transactions with the Retailer and the suitability of the Product. In the event of defective Products, the Client must contact the relevant Retailer personally. DCC therefore disclaims all liability with respect to the purchases themselves.
11. INVOICES AND PAYMENTS
11 1. Invoicing: the Client will receive an invoice from DCC each month for the purchase of Products and Services made during the preceding month. DCC is entitled to send these invoices to the Client by e-mail. DCC is also entitled to charge reasonable costs to the Client for any invoices sent by post.
11.2. Payment: claims for payments to DCC are immediately due and payable with effect from the date on which the Client has purchased the Product from the Retailer. The Client irrevocably authorises DCC to debit the amount payable directly from his bank account (on a weekly basis). The place of payment is at DCC’s Dutch bank account.
11.3. Interest on overdue payments: DCC reserves the right to charge interest and legal and extrajudicial costs on any payments not effected by the due date, without any notice of default being required. Payments will be deemed to have been received by DCC on the date on which DCC is able to access the amount paid. The statutory interest and commercial interest, plus the number of percentage points as stated in the Service surcharges applicable on that date (if appropriate), will be payable with effect from the due date until the date of effective payment of the amount payable. In addition to the interest, the extrajudicial costs applicable on that date will also be added to the amount payable.
11.4. Liquidation, bankruptcy, attachment or moratorium: in the event of liquidation, bankruptcy, attachment of the Client’s Account or other assets, or a moratorium in respect of the Client, all amounts payable by the Client to DCC will be immediately due and payable, and the Agreement will be terminated by the mere expiry of the relevant occurrence.
11.5. Financial security: DCC is entitled at all times to request (additional) financial security for the use of the Card. If the Client does not agree to this, DCC will be at liberty to terminate the Agreement with immediate effect. If a direct debit has been unsuccessful on two or more occasions, the Client must provide an alternative bank guarantee as security.
12. INVALIDATION, BLOCKING, LOSS AND MISUSE OF CARDS
12.1 Cards: the Card is a valuable item and must be treated accordingly. This means that the Card must always be stored in such a manner as to guarantee its safety. The Client must take active measures to prevent the Card and SMS codes from falling into the hands of unauthorised persons, and also to prevent the Card from being copied.
12.2. Cancellation and blocking of Cards: the Card Administrator can invalidate a card or block it temporarily at the written request of the Client. In the event of invalidation, the Client must return the relevant Card to the Card Administrator. The Client will remain responsible for the Card until all Transactions effected with this Card have been paid to DCC. DCC or the Card Administrator is entitled at all times to cancel or block a Card, and to refuse to re-issue the Card, or replace or renew the Card. DCC or the Card Administrator will re-issue Cards at appropriate times, unless termination is effected. In the event of damage, the Client is obliged to return the Cards to DCC.
12.3. Lost, stolen or forged Cards:
12.3.1. Notification: if a Card is lost or stolen, or if the Client (or his Representative) is aware or suspects that the Card has been or is being misused, or could reasonably be expected to be aware of this or to suspect it, the Client must immediately notify the Card Administrator of this at an address or telephone number provided by DCC from time to time. If the Client reports this orally, he must confirm the notification in writing within two working days. On receipt of such confirmation, DCC will immediately block the Card.
12.3.2. Responsibility for transactions made with lost, stolen or forged Cards: the Client is responsible for transactions made with lost, stolen or forged Cards, and/or for transactions in which the Card has been misused, in general for up to 24 hours after the Client has notified the Card Administrator by telephone as stated in 12.3.1. After this period of time has elapsed, the Client will no longer be responsible for subsequent unauthorised purchases made with the Card, unless:
- the Client or the Client’s Representative has given the Card to another person who has made unauthorised purchases with it;
- the Client or the Client’s Representative has lost the Card due to negligence or carelessness;
- the Client or the Client’s Representative has acted negligently in any other way in respect of the Card, including acts or omissions as referred to elsewhere in this contract;
- the Client or the Client’s Representative has failed to obey the Card Administrator’s instructions to destroy the Card or to return it to the Card Administrator;
- there is any question of intentional act or wilful recklessness on the part of the Client.
12.3.3. Assistance given to DCC by the Client: the Client must give DCC all information in his possession with respect to the loss, and must take all reasonable steps to assist DCC in recovering the lost Card. The Client must examine the transactions on his summary statement, and must inform the Card Administrator immediately of all unauthorised transactions and of all errors contained in the statements.
12.4. Lost or stolen Cards that are recovered: if a Card reported as lost or stolen is subsequently recovered, the Client must immediately notify DCC of this. DCC or the Card Administrator will decide whether the recovered Card can still be used, or whether it must be returned to DCC and destroyed.
12.5. Expiry: each Card is valid up to and including the last day of the month of expiry, if this is stated on the Card. If the Client wishes to renew the Card after the expiry date, he must inform DCC of this well in advance. If, in such an event, the Card is damaged, it may be exchanged for a new one.
12.6. DCC is entitled to amend the Services, which may result in a new Card being issued and/or enlargement of the Network of Retailers.
12.7. If the Card is blocked due to continuing failure on the part of the Client to pay the invoices or direct debits, the costs of recovery or re-issue of the Card will be payable by the Client.
13. GUARANTEES, CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT AND RESPONSIBILITIES
13.1. Guarantees: DCC and the Retailers do not provide any guarantee, either explicit or tacit, with respect to the Products or Services supplied and/or sold to the Client. Neither the Retailers nor DCC are liable for any loss or damage suffered by the Client or the Client’s Representative, unless there is any question of intentional act or wilful recklessness on the part of DCC itself, and insofar as such liability cannot be restricted or excluded by mandatory law.
13.2. Claims for payment: no claims for payment relating to Products or Services obtained with the Cards but not provided by DCC itself can be submitted to DCC, nor can they be deducted from amounts payable by DCC. These claims for payment must be submitted to the relevant Retailer. Nor can DCC be held liable if the Card is not accepted for the provision of Products and Services, or if these are temporarily unavailable.
13.3. Responsibilities: Neither DCC nor the Retailers are in any way liable if a Retailer refuses to supply Products or Services for any reason whatsoever, or if a Retailer supplies Products or Services to a Client or a Client’s Representative under the restriction of a Card. Neither DCC nor the Retailers can be held liable vis-à-vis the Client for inaccurate information on purchases made with the Cards if such inaccuracy is due to incorrect information that a Client or a Client’s Representative has given to one of the Retailer’s staff.
13.4 Complaints: any complaints about the Service must be reported to DCC within two working days of discovery, thereby simultaneously submitting the appropriate documents to substantiate the complaint. In the event of a complaint made within the time limit specified, DCC will forward this complaint to the relevant Retailer. DCC’s obligations in this respect are limited to the forwarding of the complaint.
14. VAT WEBSITE
14.1 DCC can place a website (“the VAT Website”) at the Client’s disposal.
14.2 Although DCC will take the greatest possible care when maintaining the VAT Website, DCC does not guarantee full accessibility or correctness of the information on this Website, nor of any information that the Client is able to access through links.
14.3 Since DCC depends on third parties for the hosting and maintenance of the VAT Website, any temporary non-accessibility may not be considered to be an inadequacy of the Service.
15. DATA (PRIVACY)
15.1 DCC will use the Client’s personal data exclusively for the fulfilment of the obligations stated in the Agreement, including expansion of the Services for the Client. Diplomatic Card Services B.V., Lage Mosten 31, 4822 NK Breda, The Netherlands, will act as data manager in this respect. In order to facilitate such fulfilment, the Client authorises DCC to share his personal data with third parties, and will permit such third parties to approach him for marketing purposes. DCC will inform the Client and explicitly request his consent with respect to all other purposes. The Client is entitled to exclude any direct marketing from use, on request and free of charge.
15.2 If the data provided by the Client differs from other data stored by third parties or by DCC, the data contained in DCC’s VAT system will be decisive.
16. DURATION, CONDITIONS AND TERMINATION OF THE AGREEMENT
16.1. Formation of this Agreement will only be effected on condition that the following requirements are fulfilled: (A) completion and signing of (i) the Application Form, (ii) the Authorisation, and if necessary, (iii) the Co-signature Declaration, (B) confirmation from the Client’s bank (if required) that the invoices can be directly debited from the Client’s bank account, and (C) any administrative provisions pursuant to the Regulations.
16.2. The Agreement will be concluded for an indefinite period of time.
16.3. If the Client fails to comply with any one of the stipulations contained in the Agreement, DCC will be entitled to suspend its obligations.
16.4. If the Regulations are amended in such a way that DCC no longer wishes to issue a Card, for economic or technical reasons and at its own discretion, DCC will be entitled to terminate the Agreement, thereby observing a notice period of three months.
16.5. The Client may only terminate the Agreement by written notice to DCC, including your Account identification. The termination will be executed within 48 Hours after careful processing of your request.
16.6. Failure to fulfil the obligations contained in these Conditions will entitle the parties to terminate the Agreement before the end of its term.
16.7 The following Articles will remain in force even after termination of the Agreement: Articles 4.5, 5.3, 8, 10, 12 and 18.2. In particular, DCC reserves the right to reclaim from the Client any VAT or VAT benefits wrongly obtained, and to debit these directly from the Client’s bank account.
17. FORCE MAJEURE
17.1 In the event of force majeure, DCC is entitled to suspend its obligations for the duration of the situation of force majeure, at its own discretion, without being obliged to compensate the Client for any of the consequences, including loss of exemption.
17.2 If the situation of force majeure continues for more than three months, the parties will enter into consultation in order to agree on a settlement.
17.3 Force majeure shall be taken to mean all circumstances that were unforeseen at the time that the Agreement was concluded, as a result of which DCC cannot reasonably be expected to perform the Agreement in a normal manner, including but not limited to: natural disasters, fire, strikes, total or partial non-compliance by third parties, government measures, tax-related decrees, amendments to regulations, or other unforeseen contingencies at DCC or at its Retailers.
18. LIABILITY AND INDEMNIFICATION
18.1 The Client is responsible for the correctness of his (exempted) Status, and must indemnify DCC against this if necessary. The Service assumes that the Client actually is exempt from VAT.
18.2 However, if it emerges that DCC has erroneously accepted the appropriate Status specified on the Card or by the Client, the invoice declared is not entitled to exemption, and the Client has not paid the VAT that should have been paid, DCC is entitled to charge the Client for the VAT still owing, including any losses and costs arising therefrom. If DCC is of the opinion that a Status has deliberately been falsely specified, DCC will be entitled to terminate the Agreement with immediate effect.
19.1. Personal identity document: the Client or the Client’s Representative must provide sufficient proof of identity at the request of DCC or one of the Retailer’s staff.
19.2. Disclosure of information: DCC may furnish the Retailer with information concerning the Client’s account at all times.
19.3. Changes of name and address: the Client must inform DCC immediately of any changes in his name and/or his address. Cards bearing incorrect information must be returned to DCC.
19.4. Revised Conditions: DCC may make changes or additions to these Conditions. Subject to the statutory provisions, such changes or additions will enter into force 30 days after the Client has been informed thereof in writing. If the Client does not accept the changes or additions to the Conditions, the Agreement will be deemed to be terminated and the Client must return the Card to the Card Administrator. If the Client retains and uses the Card after DCC has made the changes or additions to the Conditions, DCC is at liberty to assume that the Client has accepted the new Conditions.
19.5. Transfer: DCC is entitled to transfer claims for payment resulting from use of the Card at any company in the DCC Group or any third party to be designated by DCC. The Client is not entitled to transfer his rights under this Agreement to any third party or to pledge or otherwise encumber his rights to any third party in any way whatsoever. If this situation arises, the Client must pledge his future rights concerning this Agreement to DCC as additional security.
19.6. Return of receipts: no handwritten receipts will be returned to the Client.
20. APPLICABLE LAW
Dutch law will apply to the relations between DCC and the Client, with the exclusion of uniform (international purchasing) law. All disputes between DCC and the Client will come under the exclusive competence of the District Court at ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.
21. OTHER GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The Client’s general terms and conditions (if any) do not apply and are explicitly rejected. In the event that these Conditions conflict with the Retailer’s general conditions of sale, these Conditions will prevail with respect to the Client.