Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mobility Scooter Tax Alert

This article from Disability Now reports on a worrying development for Scooter importers.

Paul Carter, August 2007

The price of mobility scooters could increase by as much as £250 as a result of EU changes to customs regulations.

Under the new rules, scooters are now classified as 'motor vehicles for the transport of persons' rather than ‘carriages for disabled persons' meaning that they attract an import duty of 10%.

The trade body which represents the majority of scooter manufacturers and importers in the UK also says that HMRC is issuing demands for three years’ back payment of duty, as the regulations came into force six years ago.

Ray Hodgkinson, the director general of the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) said: “This position needs to be reviewed urgently. A price increase of over £250 will cause hardship to many consumers, and because some of our members will be unable to pay the back demands (totalling £10m) they may go out of business, so reducing choice of product.”

Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern, said placing mobility scooters in the same class as leisure vehicles was “ludicrous”.

"If scooters are to be made affordable for those who need them, the UKGovernment must put pressure on the EU to totally rethink this policy."