Motor and heating fuels: how to register your business and premises

Find out if you need to register your business if you produce, import, warehouse, sell or deal in motor and heating fuels.

Businesses that need to register

If you produce, import, warehouse, sell or deal in motor and heating fuels, you may need to register your business or premises with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Type of business Does the business need to register?
Hydrocarbon (mineral) oils producers You must register both your business and business premises where oil production will take place.

Additionally, oils liable for fuel duty must be stored in premises that are approved and registered with HMRC as an excise warehouse.
Biofuels and other fuel substitutes producers You need to register if you produce more than 2,500 litres a year, or use more than 2,500 litres a year as motor fuel on which duty has not already been paid.
Dealers in rebated (controlled) oils Apply to become a Registered Dealer in Controlled Oils (RDCO) if you want to supply either commercial or private end-users with red diesel, marked rebated kerosene or Avtur in bulk.

You also need to apply to become a RDCO if you buy controlled oils in bulk but sell it in containers of 20 litres or less.
Fuel card company owners Apply to become a RDCO if you own the cards and your customers fill up at pumps owned by an oil company.

You don’t need to register if the oil company owns the cards and you simply handle the admin.
Hardware store owners Apply to become a RDCO if you buy in bulk and either pre-package yourself into containers of 20 litres or less or decant into customer containers.
Plant hire firms Apply to become a RDCO if you supply controlled oil in your vehicle tanks and only provide the vehicle, not the driver.
Farmers Apply to become a RDCO only if you run a tractor hire business. Not if you occasionally hire out a tractor with a tank of controlled oil or let a contractor occasionally fill their vehicles from your fuel stocks.
Main contractors supplying subcontractors Apply to become a RDCO only if you supply subcontractors with controlled oil for use away from your site.
Agents, cooperatives, buying groups and machinery rings If you’re an agent who arranges supply of controlled oils for someone else, you don’t need to register if the supplier is a RDCO who accepts your customer is the end user, delivers directly to them, and invoices them instead of you.

Register as a producer

Some processes which are considered to be oil production can only be performed at premises approved by HMRC.

Before you can start to produce oil, the premises, plant and places to be used for that production must be ‘entered’ with HMRC.

If your business is:

  • a sole proprietor or a partnership, you should complete form EX103.
  • an incorporated company, you should complete form EX103A.

HMRC may visit your premises to examine its suitability.

You won’t need to make entry if you’re already approved as a tied oil user, repayment user, or a furnace operator, and production is in the course of using oil under the terms of your authorisation.

Read about the conditions you must fulfil as an oil producer.

Read about your responsibilities as a biofuel and other fuel substitutes producer.

Approval for motor and heating fuels warehouses

If you want to receive and store motor and heating fuel products on which the charge to excise duty has been suspended, you must first apply for approval of the premises.

You can apply for approval using form EX70 and form EX71. You should send the forms to the National Registration Unit in good time to make sure your application can be fully considered before the warehouse is required for use.

Read more about approval and entry of motor and heating fuel duty suspended premises.

Becoming a Registered Dealer in Controlled Oils

Before you can deal in controlled oils, you’ll need to apply to become an RDCO. You can do this online. HMRC services may be slow during busy times. Check if there are any current problems with this service, or times it won’t be available. Alternatively you can use form HO4.

HMRC will decide if you can be approved using the details you give.

Read more about being an RDCO and how to apply.

Published 9 November 2009
Last updated 24 August 2015 + show all updates
  1. Link added to the latest service availability and issues information.
  2. First published.