Pay & Benefits

Military commissary spending limits are back in South Korea

Military officials in South Korea have reinstated the monthly dollar limits on commissary purchases — just four months after removing the limitations.

Officials determined that reinstating the cap “will have little or no effect” on the majority of people in meeting their monthly purchasing needs in commissaries, according to the Camp Humphreys Facebook page. The cap is $800 per month for an individual, plus $300 for each family member,

In their review of individual spending, officials found that the “preponderance” of people stayed well below their monthly commissary dollar purchase limit, according to officials. The limits were reinstated on Jan. 23, in a memo signed by Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen C. Williams, chief of staff for U.S. Forces Korea.

Williams had lifted the long-standing restrictions on Sept. 11.

The monthly purchase limits are used to deter black marketing and the abuse of duty-free privileges, and give commanders a tool to monitor and identify potential violations.

Information was not immediately available about why the limitations were reinstated.

Officials have also established a process for customers to ask for a temporary increase in their monthly purchase limit, through their unit commander. Customers should submit this request prior to any event or occasion when they need to spend more.

There are more than 26,000 service members and about 3,000 civilians working for the services or DoD stationed in South Korea.

Ration controls have remained in place for commissaries and exchanges, as officials continue to monitor purchases to control black marketing of U.S. goods. For example, there are limits on the amounts of beer, wine and liquor that can be bought in the exchanges.

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