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HMRC internal manual

VAT Health

Transport of the sick and injured: Introduction

This exemption was introduced originally as an exemption for the services of private ambulance operators. However, the law does not use the word “ambulance” and there is no statutory regulation of private ambulance services and no restriction as to who can hold themselves out as an “ambulance operator”. The exemption is not, therefore, directly linked to the status of the supplier.

The exemption was introduced with effect from 1 January 1990 and is almost a word for word reflection of Article 132(1)(p) of the Principal VAT Directive. EU law however, refers to services provided by “duly authorised bodies”. As there is no system of regulation in the UK for private ambulance operators, UK law could not include such a reference.