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HMRC internal manual

VAT Food

HM Revenue & Customs
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Items benefiting from the relief: products used for animal feed and other purposes: general

Many products which are widely sold as animal feed ingredients have other uses: for example, oil-bearing seeds may be used either as ingredients in poultry food or in the manufacture of oils for industrial use. In deciding the VAT treatment of these products, it is necessary to determine whether the trader is supplying the product as animal feed, which can be zero-rated, or is making some other, standard-rated supply.

Some products are produced in different grades for feed and non-feed use. The quality and composition of animal feed products is strictly controlled by regulation, and requirements as to their content and quality are high. The Animal Feeding Stuffs Regulations 1991 also require all products sold for animal feed to be accompanied by a statutory declaration identifying the product and giving details of its composition and purpose. These declarations must be given on the label (in the case of packaged products) or in accompanying documentation (in the case of material sold in bulk).

In most cases, therefore, identification will not be difficult. However, given the range of products available, this can be a complex area so, if you do encounter difficulties you are advised to contact Liability PolicyTeam, who will check the details of the product in question with DEFRA experts if necessary.

Where there is no physical difference between feed and non-feed products, liability will depend on how the product is held out for sale.