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Taxation: Invalid Vehicles

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether mobility scooters are to be classified as leisure vehicles and will be liable to extra import duty and VAT if manufactured outside the EU; and if he will make a statement. (149877)

Electric mobility scooters have been classified in the same tariff heading for customs purposes as some leisure vehicles, since at least 2002 when the World Customs Organisation published its ‘Classification Opinion’ on the subject. The World Customs Organisation is the international authority responsible for tariff classification. The European Union has set an import duty of 10 per cent. for these vehicles.

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

For VAT purposes, mobility scooters for disabled people may qualify for the zero-rating that can apply to equipment specifically designed to meet their needs. The Government have no plans to change the scope of this VAT relief.

Following industry representations officials from HM Revenue and Customs are advising the industry on the options available to pursue a change to this classification.