Friday 20 January 2017

Lingerie firm Amoena wins court fight over tax on bras for breast cancer patients

Brian Farmer

Published 13/07/2016 | 13:46

Bosses at Amoena said mastectomy bras are not normal lingerie Stock photo
Bosses at Amoena said mastectomy bras are not normal lingerie Stock photo

Lingerie company bosses have won a Supreme Court fight over tax on special bras worn by women who have had a mastectomy.

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Bosses at Amoena said mastectomy bras are not normal lingerie and should be exempt from European customs duty.

They had lost a fight with HM Revenue and Customs in the Court of Appeal, but the Supreme Court has ruled in their favour.

Five Supreme Court justices announced their decision on Wednesday after analysing legal argument at a hearing in London in June.

Amoena bosses said the firm's Carmen mastectomy bra was designed for women who had prosthetic breasts after undergoing cancer surgery, and should be exempt from import duty.

Lawyers for the firm argued that the bra was an artificial body part and not normal underwear - which would make it exempt.

Court of Appeal judges had ruled that the bra was not a ''part of" or "an accessory" to a breast form.

But Supreme Court justices concluded that the bra was an "accessory" because it enabled the breast form to "perform its function" by holding it in place.

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