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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

The Scheme: construction operations: industrial plant

CISR14600 Action guide contents

FA04/S74 (2)(b) says that the following operations are within the scope of the Construction Industry Scheme

  • ‘construction, alteration, repair, extension … of any works forming … part of the land, including … industrial plant’

This provision relates to industrial plant founded directly on the land rather than located in a building. The plant referred to includes

  • petrochemical installations
  • chemical plant
  • external conveyer systems
  • storage tanks
  • silos
  • pylons
  • cranes or derricks
  • pumps
  • sewage farms
  • water filtration plants
  • mining winding gear.

Often there is no clear division between what can be considered to be ‘works forming part of the land’ (FA04/S74(2)(b)) on the one hand or ‘structures’ (FA04/S74 (2)(a)) on the other. The effect of these provisions, in combination with the other provisions of Section 74, is to bring within the Scheme all construction forming a normal part of the building and civil engineering industries.

CIS legislation does not seek to define ‘industrial plant’ but mentions it as an example of ‘work forming part of the land’ to which the Scheme applies. The purpose of citing it is to indicate that, if you are considering an installation founded on the land and which, by common understanding, is industrial plant, it is ‘works forming part of the land’ and its construction is caught by CIS.

It is not crucial whether an installation under consideration is strictly ‘industrial plant’ as defined in the construction or any other industry or, indeed, in the Taxes Acts. The important question is - does the installation being considered fall within the description ‘works forming part of the land’? If the answer is ‘Yes’ that is sufficient to bring the operation within the scope of the Scheme. If the installation happens to fulfil an industrial purpose you might reasonably conclude that it is ‘industrial plant’ but that is incidental.

Externally located industrial plant

As regards the repair of externally located industrial plant, this refers to structural repair only, for example, patching of a chemical retort or replacing a section of pipe-work. In contrast the repair or replacement of mechanical components, for example, work on valves in pumps, is not within the Scheme.

Industrial plant installed in buildings

The reference to industrial plant in FA04/S74 (2)(b) relates to industrial plant founded directly on the land as described above, that is, externally located plant. In contrast, the installation of industrial plant in buildings is, in certain circumstances, viewed as either

  • the ‘alteration … extension … of buildings or structures’ (FA04/S74 (2)(a))


  • operations which form an integral part of, or are for rendering complete, such construction operations, namely those required to accommodate the equipment (FA04/S74 (2)(f)).

Industrial plant installed in buildings can range from heavy machinery closely integrated into the structure of a building designed to accommodate it, to light duty tools only superficially secured to the shop floor.

In deciding whether a project involving the installation of such industrial plant is within the scope of CIS, you should consider;

  • how substantial is the plant physically? It may be one large item of machinery, or possibly several smaller items for which the building has to be adapted.
  • how complex is it structurally, that is, is it simply bolted to the floor or does it derive more substantial support from the building structure by being secured to the walls or ceiling/roof such that it can be seen as part of the building?
  • how closely is it integrated into the building structure, that is, is it an element within a complex system involving material flows using conveyers or pipe-work connecting parts of a production line?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’ it is likely that the installation is within the scope of CIS.

The following paragraphs set out examples based on these considerations.

Within CIS

Installation of

  • lifts
  • industrial hoists
  • gantries
  • materials processing plant connected by a complex of conveyors or pipe-work secured to the building fabric
  • electronic storage and/or retrieval systems built in or secured to the fabric of a building or structure
  • factory rail systems for transporting materials or goods
  • under-floor guidance systems for robotic vehicles
  • electricity generators (system of power supply)
  • distributed compressed air supplies
  • vehicle-washing systems
  • tanks and silos
  • industrial furnaces (but not free-standing furnaces such as small muffle furnaces)
  • paint spray booths.

Excluded from CIS

  • repair of internally located plant and machinery
  • installation of separate machine tools such as lathes, milling machines and other production machinery only superficially attached to the fabric by being screwed or bolted to the factory floor
  • installation of light-duty or moveable conveyer systems.