Helmet Prices Set to Rise

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Eamonn Townsend

Helmet Prices Set to Rise

Postby Eamonn Townsend » Mon Aug 11, 2003 12:00 am

Press Release From The British Motorcyclists Federation

25 July 2003

HELMET PRICES SET TO RISE AS VAT THREAT LOOMS

Motorcycle helmet prices could rise by up to 100 if the latest EU Commission proposals to rationalise VAT are accepted warns the BMF.

Issuing the warning, the British Motorcyclists Federation, Britain's largest, most influential rider group, say that this is because motorcycle helmets (currently zero rated but only within the UK), are no longer included in the list of goods under Directive 77/388/EEC that can carry a zero or reduced rate of VAT.

Writing to Economic Secretary John Healey MP, Departmental Minister for Customs and Excise, the BMF say that while it understands the need for some EU tax harmonisation, with the compulsory helmet laws that are in place, the UK practice of zero rating on helmets should in fact be applied across the whole of the EU as a pro-active safety measure and not removed as proposed.

The BMF say that irrespective of the need to simplify and standardise rates of VAT, it is morally wrong to be compelled to wear a motorcycle helmet and then be expected to also pay a tax on the purchase.

A long time campaigner for the removal of VAT from replacement visors (visors are only zero rated when sold with a new helmet), the BMF has also been lobbying for zero rating on other legitimate motorcycling safety clothing, items which presently carry full-rate VAT.

The BMF understands that the revised list of goods defined in what is known as Annex H are now to be agreed by member states during 2004 and so are calling on their 140,000 members to lobby their MP's and MEPs on this important issue.

*Note: The wide reaching proposals are part of a EU strategy to improve the operation of the VAT system across all member states. They are contained EU Council Directive (COM(2003) 397 final) issued this week, which amends Directive 77/388/EEC on reduced rates of value added tax. Also to lose their zero status are industrial safety footwear and helmets, cycle helmets and children's clothing, all items that are zero rated, but only within the UK

ENDS


Issued by Jeff Stone: t: +44 (0)121 709 1040 f: +44 (0)121 705 8784 e: jeff.stone@bmf.co.uk
Details on this and other BMF activities can also be found on our web site: <a href="www.bmf.co.uk" target="_blank">www.bmf.co.uk</a>

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