|The future economic benefits embodied in an asset are consumed by an entity principally through its use. However, other factors, such as technical or commercial obsolescence and wear and tear while an asset remains idle, often result in the diminution of the economic benefits that might have been obtained from the asset. Consequently, all the following factors are considered in determining the useful life of an asset:
(a) expected usage of the asset. Usage is assessed by reference to the asset’s expected capacity or physical output.
(b) expected physical wear and tear, which depends on operational factors such as the number of shifts for which the asset is to be used and the repair and maintenance programme, and the care and maintenance of the asset while idle.
(c) technical or commercial obsolescence arising from changes or improvements in production, or from a change in the market demand for the product or service output of the asset. Expected future reductions in the selling price of an item that was produced using an asset could indicate the expectation of technical or commercial obsolescence of the asset, which, in turn, might reflect a reduction of the future economic benefits embodied in the asset.
(d) legal or similar limits on the use of the asset, such as the expiry dates of related leases.
IAS 16, paragraph 56 and PBE IPSAS 17, paragraph 72 (note that, where IAS 16 uses the term “economic benefits”, PBE IPSAS 17 uses the term “economic benefits or service potential”).