The court considered the proper classification under customs codes for a mastectomy bra. The First Tier Tribunal had found no evidence that it had an medical purpose beyond the containment of the breast from.
Held: The appeal succeeded.
The issue was as to the classification of the bra. The intended use of the product may constitute an objective criterion in relation to tariff classification if it is inherent in the product and is capable of assessment on the basis of the products objective characteristics. The Court of Appeal’s conclusion was consistent with the ordinary understanding of orthopaedics and the Advocate General’s opinion in the Uroplasty case. With respect to ‘orthopaedic appliances’ the reference in explanatory note 6 to appliances ‘supporting or holding parts of the body following an illness, operation or injury’ does not encompass appliances supporting artificial body parts such as an artificial breast form.
Lord Carnwath did not consider the bra to be a ‘part’ either of the breast form on its own, or of a ‘whole’ consisting of the breast form and bra together, as it is marketed as an entirely separate product . However, on a natural reading of the guidance, the bra is an ‘accessory’ because it enables the breast form to perform its function, by holding it in place, and thus performs ‘a particular service relative to (its) main function’.
Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge
 UKSC 41,  1 WLR 2904,  WLR(D) 386,  STC 1884,  4 All ER 705, UKSC 2015/0046
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87
England and Wales
At FTTTx – Amoena (UK) Ltd v Revenue and Customs FTTTx 21-Oct-2011
CUSTOMS DUTY – Whether Mastectomy bra should be classified to commodity code 6212 1090 00 as a clothing article – whether proper to code 9021 1010 00 as an orthopaedic device – appeal dismissed . .
At UTTC – Amoena (UK) Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs UTTC 12-Aug-2013
UTTC Customs duty – classification – whether mastectomy bra a brassiere under CN 6212 or an orthopaedic device etc under CN 9021 ‘ mastectomy bra an orthopaedic device under CN 9021 10 10 by virtue of Note 6 to . .
At CA – Amoena (UK) Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs CA 29-Jan-2015
Appeal as to the appropriate classification, and hence level of customs duty, for a mastectomy bra. . .
Cited – Turbon International GmbH v Oberfinanzdirektion Koblenz ECJ 7-Feb-2002
ECJ Annex I to Regulation No 2658/87 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff, as amended by Regulation No 1734/96, must be interpreted as meaning that an ink-cartridge without . .
Cited – Lohmann v Oberfinanzdirektion Koblenz ECJ 7-Nov-2002
(Judgment) Common Customs Tariff – Tariff headings – Classification in the Combined Nomenclature of wrist orthoses, lumbar support belts, elbow supports and knee supports – Note 1(b) to Chapter 90 of the Combined Nomenclature . .
Cited – Uroplasty BV v Inspecteur van de Belastingdienst-Douanedistrict Rotterdam ECJ 13-Jul-2006
Europa (Common Customs Tariff) Tariff classification – Sterile flakes of polydimethilsiloxane – Silicone elastomer – Meaning of ‘primary form’ – Medicament – Packaging – Meaning of ‘appliance implanted in the . .
Cited – Turbon International v Oberfinanzdirektion Koblenz ECJ 26-Oct-2006
Europa Common Customs Tariff – Tariff headings – Classification in the Combined Nomenclature of ink cartridges compatible with Epson Stylus Color printers – Inks (heading 3215) – Parts and accessories of machines . .
Cited – Unomedical A/S v Skatteministeriet (Customs Union) ECJ 16-Jun-2011
ECJ Common Customs Tariff – Tariff classification – Combined Nomenclature – Plastic dialysis drainage bags intended exclusively for use with dialysers (artificial kidneys) – Plastic urine drainage bags intended . .
Cited – Revenue and Customs v Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Ltd SC 13-Mar-2013
The company managed a card loyalty scheme for retailers. The Revenue appealed against a decision that the company could reclaim VAT input tax on the goods purchased on the customers redeeming their points. The ECJ had decided that the service . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 July 2021; Ref: scu.566878