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HMRC internal manual

VAT Clothing

The design test - is the article designed for young children?: Advice on how to measure garments

When measuring garments, is it important that you follow the guidelines on how to take specific measurements. These can be found in Notice714. Where a particular garment exceeds the maximum measurement by a matter of millimetres, it is worth measuring a number of garments of the same size and style to see whether they are consistently over the maximum, or whether the particular method of manufacture does not precisely give the same size for each garment. If the majority of garments are within the particular maximum measurement and all other conditions for zero-rating are met, then the zero rate would seem appropriate. If the garments are consistently over the maximum (still by millimetres), then it is often worth asking for the garment specification to see what measurement is stated by the designer. If there is no apparent reason for the garment to continually exceed the maximum measurement then zero-rating would not be appropriate.