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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Government departments and health authorities: Contracted Out Services (COS) Headings: COS Heading 63 - Storage, distribution and goods disposal services

This Heading covers both physical and electronic storage and distribution services as well as physical goods disposal services.


  • Records sent for archiving or destruction
  • Storage of detained or seized items
  • Secure disposal of seized items
  • Accommodation of seized or detained animals in zoos or boarding kennels
  • Storage of employees’ possessions when they are relocated
  • Incineration services
  • Secure bulk shredding services
  • Call-off stock

Additional information

Changes were introduced by the Finance Act 2012, which required the standard rate of VAT to be applied to supplies of storage facilities with effect from 1 October 2012, further details can be found at VATLP17550 (external users can find the guidance at

A definition of storage can be found at VATLP17600 (external users can find the guidance at