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HMRC internal manual

Biofuels and Fuel Substitutes Assurance

Biofuels and Fuel Substitutes Assurance: Assessments


The power to assess excise duty is contained in the Finance Act 1994 sections12(1) and 12(1A).

For further guidance on raising excise assessments see X-51 Excise Assessments, inconjunction with X-51B Civil Penalties.

Examples of when excise duty assessments can be raised are:

  • Failure to declare biofuels or fuel substitutes for chargeable use as road fuel on removal from entered premises.
  • Failure to pay duty on fuel set aside for chargeable use as road fuel removed from entered producers premises
  • Use of duty unpaid biofuel in a road vehicle;
  • The intentional mixture of duty paid with duty unpaid biofuel and the supply of the resulting mixture for use as fuel for a road vehicle.

Civil penalties

The power to issue civil penalties comes from the Finance Act 1994. The guidance inX-51B should be followed when issuing civil penalties, including the sections on thecompletion and processing of form EX 601, authorisation levels, and thereview procedure where a trader appeals against a penalty.

Reasonable excuse

Reasonable excuse must be considered in all cases involving the imposition of penalties(see X-51B Civil Penalties, for further guidance).

Right to an independent review and to appeal

Right to an independent review of a decision to assess, and to appeal against thedecision to assess.

Traders are advised about this right:

  • through the inclusion, in the explanatory letter that forms part of the notice of assessment, of the standard review paragraph, (see below *) and :
  • on form EX 603, the explanatory notes sent with any assessment (or civil penalty) notified on Form EX 601.

If the person disagrees with the review officer’s decision, they can appeal to aVAT and Duties Tribunal. It is the review officer’s decision that is the subject ofthe appeal.

  • “If you do not agree with the decision in this letter, you can ask for a formalDepartmental review. Your request should be in writing, and set out the reasons why you donot agree with the decision. It should be sent within 45 days of the date of this letterto …”.