EU facilitates reduction of VAT on children’s products – a good opportunity for the German government

[6. 4. 2022] On 05 April 2022, the European Council adopted a revision of the VAT Directive. This will make it easier in future for national governments to apply the reduced VAT rate, especially on children’s clothing and footwear. The family organisations demand that the Federal Government implements these possibilities quickly.

“The Federal Government must now pick up the ball,” says AGF Chair Sidonie Fernau, “and take the possibilities to reduce the VAT rate for products for children without delay. Subsequently, businesses must pass this relief on to families and not use this initiative for hidden price increases.”

The family organisations emphasise that this can be a building block to relieve families at least somewhat from the accelerated price increase. The financial burdens are currently enormous due to the massive increases in housing, energy and living costs. These are precisely the expenses that account for a high proportion of total expenditure for families. In addition, families are disproportionately burdened by high excise taxes, because the share of expenditure on goods for daily use is often above average in relation to income.

 The European VAT Directive sets the framework for a uniform VAT system within the EU. Among other things, it regulates in a catalogue which products and services are eligible for reduced VAT. Within these guidelines, the member states then determine when they actually apply the reduced rate. Among the products newly added are children’s clothing and footwear.

The AGF has long campaigned for the reduced VAT rate of 7 per cent to be applied to products and services for children, thereby relieving the burden on families. Among other things, it initiated the “7% for Children” alliance ( As part of the campaign, over 50,000 signatures were collected for a reduction in VAT on products for children.

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