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HMRC internal manual

VAT Protective Equipment

HM Revenue & Customs
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Protective equipment: Pedal cycle helmets: Which pedal cycle helmets are zero-rated?

The law only allows zero-rating for pedal cycle helmets which are manufactured to, and bear a mark of conformity with, standards laid down in the EC Personal Protective Equipment Directive (93/68/EEC) as amended (the PPE Directive).

The harmonised European standard which satisfies the provisions of the PPE Directive is EN 1078:1997 which the British Standards Institution has adopted as BS EN 1078:1997. Helmets manufactured to this standard will carry the European Community ‘CE’ mark. However, while EN 1078:1997 also covers protective helmets for users of skateboards and roller skates, zero-rating only applies to those helmets which are designed and ‘held out for sale’ as pedal cycle helmets.

Some cycle helmets will have been manufactured to a different specification to the one laid down in the harmonised European Standard but still satisfy the requirements of the PPE Directive. Examples include the American standards Snell B95 and ASTM F1447 and the Australian standard AS 2063. These helmets will also carry the ‘CE’ mark.