Sanitary Protection: VAT

Treasury written question – answered on 11th January 2021.

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Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether (a) post-natal pads and (b) all non-medical incontinence products and (c) breast pads are included in the zero rate announced on sanitary products on 1 January 2021.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The zero rate of VAT for women’s sanitary products was introduced on 1 January 2021. The zero rate applies to products which would have previously attracted the reduced rate and can be described as products which are designed and marketed solely for the absorption or collection of menstrual flow or lochia (discharge from the womb following childbirth). Examples include sanitary pads, tampons and maternity pads for the collection of lochia.

Further information on what is covered can be found in VAT Notice 701/18 on women’s sanitary products on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-on-womens-sanitary-products-notice-70118.

Retail sales of incontinence products are zero-rated, under a long-standing separate relief. Further information on this can be found in VAT Notice 701/7 on reliefs for disabled and older people on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-relief-on-certain-goods-if-you-have-a-disability.

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