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HMRC internal manual

VAT Clothing

HM Revenue & Customs
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The suitability test: Manufacturers: Labelling

If a manufacturer labels female garments according to the ladies’ sizing system (e.g. 8, 10, 12, 14, etc.), or any garments (male or female) as suitable for body sizes exceeding those set out in section 4.2.2 of Notice714, this is a clear indication that the garments are intended for the adult market. They therefore fail the ‘suitability’ test and are standard-rated.

The labelling of garments by age or height as suitable for a young child (according to the British Standard for the labelling of children’s clothing) demonstrates an intention to serve the child market. However, this does not in itself lead to zero-rating; you will still need to consider the ‘design’ test.