(CNN) — The UK has abolished the 5% rate of value-added-tax (VAT) on menstrual products, known as the tampon tax.
It means that from January 1, period products will no longer be subject to VAT.
The UK government said the change was made possible by the end of the Brexit transition period, and freedom from an EU law that mandates VAT on sanitary products.
“I’m proud that we are today delivering on our promise to scrap the tampon tax,” said UK finance minister Rishi Sunak, who committed to the change in his March budget.
“Sanitary products are essential so it’s right that we do not charge VAT,” he said in a statement.
Campaigners had been calling for the end of the tax, labeled “sexist” and “outdated,” for years.
“It’s been a long road to reach this point, but at last the sexist tax that saw sanitary products classed as non-essential, luxury items can be consigned to the history books,” Felicia Willow Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, the UK’s oldest charity campaigning for women’s rights and gender equality.
In November, Scotland became the first country in the world to allow free and universal access to menstrual products, including tampons and pads, in public facilities.
Globally, just a handful of countries have zero tax added to sanitary products, including Canada, India, Australia, Kenya and several US states.
Last year, Germany voted to reduce its tax rate on feminine hygiene products after deeming them to be a daily necessity, not luxury.