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VAT: Electric Motors

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has received notification that the European Commission is to re-classify electric mobility scooters as the same category as golf caddies with a requirement that value-added tax should be levied; (142009)

(2) whether he has any plans to re-classify electric mobility scooters thereby attracting value-added tax to their sale.

Electric mobility scooters and golf caddies are classified in the same tariff heading for customs purposes and have been since at least 2002 when the World Customs Organisation published its ‘Classification Opinion’ on the subject. We are not aware that the European Union has any plans to change that classification.

However, VAT and Customs are separate regimes. Classification for duty purposes under the Customs regime has no direct bearing on VAT liability, which is determined by VAT law.

For VAT purposes, mobility scooters may qualify for the zero-rating that applies when disabled people purchase certain “carriages” or other equipment specifically designed to meet their needs. The Government have no plans to change the scope of this VAT relief.