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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Assessments under provisions in the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979: rebated heavy oil used as fuel for or taken into a road vehicle

Notice 75 (HMRC website) Fuel for road vehicles explains that rebated heavy oil, eg kerosene, may not be used as fuel in a road vehicle unless an amount equal to the rebate has been paid to HMRC (which may only be done in very limited circumstances). Section 12(2) of HODA refers.

Section 13(1A) provides the power to assess in situations where a person uses oil, or is liable for oil being taken into a road vehicle, in contravention of section 12(2).

The amount assessed is an amount equal to the rebate on like oil allowed at the rate in force at the time of the contravention.

Can a supplier or launderer be assessed when rebated fuel is taken into a road vehicle?

In a case where rebated fuel is taken into a road vehicle, the person liable is the person who has charge of the vehicle at the time or is its owner (or is a person entitled to possession of the vehicle at the time) - see HODA section 13(7). This person may be assessed under section 13(1A).

This provision cannot be used to assess the supplier of the fuel, or any person who laundered the fuel by removing the marker (unless it is shown that they are also the person liable for taking the fuel into the vehicle, as described above). However, such persons may be liable to penalty and offence action under other provisions in section 13.

Assessment action is possible in the situation where a supplier, for example a filling station, deliberately produces and supplies a mixture of rebated and non-rebated oil.