701/38/11 Seeds and plants

Part V8 HMRC Notices
Part V8 HMRC Notices | Commentary

701/38/11 Seeds and plants

Part V8 HMRC Notices | Commentary

Seeds and plants

November 2011

This notice cancels and replaces Notice 701/38 (November 2003).

1 Introduction

1.1 What is this notice about?

The supply of most basic foodstuffs for human or animal consumption is zero-rated. Plants and seeds used for the production of foodstuffs are also zero-rated depending on how they are held out for sale. This notice explains when the following items can be zero-rated:


    —     plants;


    —     seeds or other means of propagation (spores, rhizomes etc) used to produce those plants; and


    —     seeds used directly as foods.

1.2 What has changed?

The technical content of this notice has not changed from the November 2003 edition but a minor amendment has been made to paragraph 4.3.

You can access details of any changes to this notice since November 2011 on our internet website at or by phoning the Helpline on 0845 010 9000.

This notice and others mentioned are available both on paper and on our website.

1.3 Who should read this notice?

You should read this notice if you supply plants or seeds.

1.4 What law does this notice cover?

The relevant law is VATA 1994 Sch 8 Group 1.

1.5 Related publications

Other aspects of the Group 1 relief are dealt with in Notice—


    —     Notice 701/14 “Food” (Part V8);


    —     Notice 701/15 “Animals and animal food” (Part V8);


    —     Notice 701/40 “Food processing services” (Part V8); and


    —     Notice 709/1 “Catering and take-away food” (Part V8).

Main narrative treatment—V4.224.

2 General

2.1 Are all seeds and plants free of VAT?

No. The following are generally standard-rated—


    (a)     seeds, plants and cut flowers

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