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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

HM Revenue & Customs
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Introduction: roles and responsibilities



The Fuel Duties Policy Team, Indirect Tax

Has ultimate responsibility for the formulation and administration of the fuel duty system, with the exception of debt management policies.

The Fuel Duties Team will:

  • evaluate duty rates and duty structures and formulate proposals for change
  • advise Treasury ministers on options for change
  • scope required changes to primary legislation
  • maintain the legal framework (including changes to legislation)
  • assess the need for change
  • develop administrative policies to meet changing circumstances
  • evaluate the effectiveness of new policies
  • issue guidance and notices to staff and the trade
  • develop and promote contact with the trade and associated bodies
  • establish and maintain a policy precedent index
  • monitor reviews, appeals and tribunal rulings
  • liaise with stakeholders and consider policy changes
  • develop operational policy
  • issue operational policy and assurance guidance to staff
  • identify and meet training needs
  • provide advice and support to:

    • ISBC
    • Large Business
    • RIS
    • MORC

Risk and Intelligence Service (RIS)

Informs deployment decisions relating to operational activity in Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) and all activity in Enforcement & Compliance through the provision of risk based referrals which drive that decision making process, by:

  • being the focal point for all information available to the Department (including returns from distributors), bringing that information together, making assessments of risk, and issuing referrals to guide and support deployment in relation to activity in Enforcement & Compliance
  • providing the best and most complete intelligence and risk assessments available to ensure collaborative working in Enforcement & Compliance
  • providing a link through RIS Ops Criminal Intelligence Group, between RIS and other operational areas to add in detailed information to RIS risk assessments and feedback from Departmental activity to further inform RIS risk assessment work
  • monitoring all refused and temporarily approved oils traders
  • providing intelligence to MORC for use in their Approvals role
  • collating, analysing and actioning feedback received.

lndividuals and Small Business Compliance (ISBC)

The role of Oils Assurance officers can be summarised as follows:

  • obtain information on potential mis-users to inform our front-line enforcement activity
  • help RDCOs and tied oil traders understand and meet their obligations so minimising the risk that duty rebated and relieved oil is used illicitly
  • carry out assurance visits to RDCOs and tied oil traders to ensure continuing compliance with the schemes and
  • undertake audits and issue assessments to recover revenue from businesses who have been detected misusing fuel.
  • ensure that additional duty is collected on marked gas oil used for propelling private pleasure craft and correctly accounted for.

It is emphasised that officers should not be conducting distinct educational events. Any phone calls and visits made to RDCOs should not be confined to educating the trader. Every contact should be seized upon an opportunity to obtain information about trading patterns, etc. to assess compliance.

Obtaining quality targets for detection is a priority. On all visits, records should be examined and customer references sought.

Large Business (LB)

The role of LB Oils Assurance staff is largely the same as that of ISBC. Where a Large Business has its own distributor network, or other outlets dealing in rebated fuels, the assurance of these will fall to LB. The LB role is to:

  • help RDCOs and tied oil traders within Large Business understand and meet their obligations so minimising the risk that duty rebated and relieved oil is used illicitly
  • assure the completeness and integrity of the centralised computer accounting systems used to make appropriate RDCO and Tied Oils returns
  • selectively visit the company owned Distributor network sites to confirm that all data and local activity is properly being captured to the centralised systems as well as gathering local information on possible abusers to inform front-line enforcement activity
  • selectively visit Large Business end users of Tied Oil, to ensure compliance with the scheme, including disposal of any waste oil
  • assist Enforcement & Compliance and RIS in providing additional information from Large Business traders’ systems.

Note: Where specific information is required, the request must be directed to the relevant CRM for the business - contact must not be with the Large Business or their distribution networks direct. Providing information can be an expensive process for these businesses and therefore the CRM or LB Risk Manager will prioritise and co-ordinate requests. Large Businesses will co-operate if these procedures are followed.

Mineral Oil Reliefs Centre (MORC)

MORC has responsibility for:

  • approving Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils (RDCOs)
  • approving tied oil distributors and users
  • maintaining the RDCO and Tied Oils Returns Systems
  • providing advice and support to:

    • RDCOs and tied oil traders
    • RIS
    • Fuel Duties Policy Team
    • Enforcement & Compliance and
    • Large Business

Cumbernauld Accounting Team (CAT)

The Cumbernauld Accounting Team has responsibility for:

  • processing payment returns and payments from RDCOs registered as suppliers of red diesel for use in private pleasure craft
  • issuing an assessment if no return and payment are made
  • processing returns for the biofuel and gas as road fuel regimes, and issuing penalties for late returns.