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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

Post detection audit and assessment: obtaining the relevant records

Where possible, SI officers will collect the records you need for your auditt at the time of the detection or during a subsequent visit to the trader’s business premises. If all the relevant records are not obtained then you should write to the trader requesting their production. You should specify the records you require. There is a standard letter available via SEES.

If the offender fails to produce the relevant records within a reasonable time you should issue a pre-assessment letter warning that an assessment and penalty will be issued based on full use of rebated fuel in road vehicles unless information is supplied for further consideration . There is a standard letter available via SEES.

A standard covering letter to the issue of an EX601 for a civil penalty is at HCOS5350.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) HCOS5450(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Please note: you must be able to show that you have exercised discretion prior to the issue of the penalty and taken into account any information supplied by the offender.

Receipts for traders’ records should be issued using form C&E 980. If any records are needed by the trader for the business to run, they should be photocopied and the originals returned to the trader.

SI staff should have conducted an interview with the offender. The interview record will provide useful information that can be used in the calculation of your assessment, such as:

  • details about the business, particularly concerning the number of vehicles operated
  • what the miles per gallon figures are
  • the number of drivers, customers, distances travelled - long haul or short haul
  • how many days a week the vehicles operate
  • level of misuse, and how long it has been going on.

Details of vehicles tested, including mileage should be recorded on the Vehicle Record Sheets.

In cases involving Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), SI should have uplifted tachographs from the vehicles. (It is a Department of Transport legal requirement that the last 7 days’ tachographs be kept in the vehicle.) Tachograph charts may also have been uplifted.

Checks should have been done to identify vehicles belonging to the business. Details should be recorded in the case folder along with the Vehicle Record Sheet for the vehicles tested, interview records and any other relevant information that may assist Local Compliance staff in making the assessment, eg Intelligence concerning the trader and comments on the estimated size of the case.