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HMRC internal manual

VAT Protective Equipment

HM Revenue & Customs
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Protective equipment: Motorcycle helmets: Which motorcycle helmets are zero-rated?

The law only allows zero-rating for motorcycle helmets which are manufactured to, and bear a mark of conformity with, standards laid down in the Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1988 (SI 1998/1807) as amended by the Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1488).

These prescribed standards are BS 6658:1985 and ECE Regulation 22.05. However, while BS 6658:1985 covers protective helmets for all vehicles, zero-rating only applies to those helmets which are designed and ‘held out for sale’ as motorcycle helmets.

The regulations also prescribe helmets which are manufactured to an equivalent European standard to the British Standard. ECE Regulation 22.04 is not equivalent to the British Standard and we are not aware of any other equivalent standard.