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HMRC internal manual

VAT Health

Blood and associated products: Difference between UK and EU law

The UK’s exemptions for blood and associated products came into effect on 1 May 1983 when it became apparent that supplies of human blood and tissues were being made in the course of business.

In exempting products derived from human blood, the UK’s exemption would appear to go wider than EU law intended, because EU law refers to human blood only. The decision to extend the exemption to derivatives of human blood as well as its components was made in 1983 because of the difficulty in distinguishing between the two: it was felt that to exempt one but not the other would create a difficult borderline. The UK does however consider it necessary to refuse exemption to products derived from human blood for eventual diagnostic use as these normally contain mixtures of human, non- human and animal products.