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Mastectomy bras exempt from import duty: court

By Will Worley

Published 14/07/2016

The Supreme Court will deliver its ruling
The Supreme Court will deliver its ruling

Bras worn by women who have had mastectomies are not normal lingerie and should be exempt from import duties, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The decision represents a victory over the so-called mastectomy tax, which was said to unfairly affect breast cancer survivors.

The case was brought by Amoena, which manufactures bras for women who have had the procedure.

The firm argued its Carmen mastectomy bra, designed for women who had prosthetic breasts after undergoing the surgery, was not normal lingerie.

Despite a previous ruling in the Court of Appeals against the bras, Supreme Court judges said that "by holding the breast form in place", the bra "performs a particular service relative to the main function" of artificial breasts".

A customs duty of 6.5% will now no longer be payable on the bra. Women who have undergone breast surgery are already exempt from paying VAT on the undergarment and similar items.

Belfast Telegraph

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