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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

Introduction and overview of oils activity: where do staff involved with Fuel Duties work?

Staff involved with Fuel Duties carry out their work in a variety of locations:


Staff have responsibility for docks and wharves where crude oil and finished oil products are discharged by tankers at import, or on receipt from other EU countries. These are usually adjacent to refineries or oil storage terminals. They may also be involved in assuring the supply of oils for export.

Marine fuels such as marine gas oil (MGO*) and marine diesel, and aircraft fuels such as AVTUR and AVGAS may be supplied for use as fuel in foreign-going aircraft and ships, or as ships and aircraft stores.

Large Business (LB) Oils Assurance.

Staff may be responsible for the oils majors production premises (refineries) or for their head offices and accounting departments. Each oils major has a Central Accounting Point (CAP), which collates the mineral oils duty liability and returns information for a number of sites, and who may be involved in ‘netting’ duty repayments from the duty due. Central Accounting Point Officers (CAPOs) are responsible for particular companies.

Refinery/Production Premises

Staff may visit oil terminals, and at motor and heating oil producers ‘entered’ premises, where crude oil and natural gas is received by pipeline from the North Sea or via other EU countries, and where gas condensate may be recovered.

They are involved in the day to day control and assurance of oil production at refineries, where crude oil is distilled and processed to produce a variety of oil products, and at oils production warehouses where feed-stocks and finished oils products are stored duty suspended, and may be mixed and blended, or used in the production process.

The oils warehouses may consist of bulk tank storage for crude oils or semi-finished product at import, for the storage of oils following production or for the remote storage of ‘excess’ production prior to its delivery to home use, transfer to other EU countries duty-suspended or for export by pipeline, road tank wagon, rail tank wagon or ship.

Head Office

Staff including CAPOs in Large Business (LB) assure the excise duty and VAT on oil delivered to home use, by selective examination and verification of oil producers oil returns, duty payments, records and accounts. They also assure the excise duty and VAT on oil moved by Cross Country Pipeline (CCP) operators and users, take account of oil mixed in pipelines, and examine and verify pipeline adjustment schedules, duty payments or adjustments, records and accounts, taking account of oil removed at interceptors, or which has become contaminated or mixed, and which needs to be processed or mixed with other oil.

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Marking premises

Staff may be involved in the marking of duty suspended oils in oil Producers Premises, or of duty paid oils received at Remote Marking Premises (RMP) from import, and in verifying duty repayment claims on marked oils.

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Controlled oils distributors

Staff in LB and ISBC are involved in the control and assurance of rebated and duty-relieved oils, under schemes implemented as part of the Oils Strategy, encouraging compliance and preventing fraud and diversion of oils to ineligible use, mainly as road fuel.

Under the Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils (RDCO) scheme, marked gas oil (MGO) and marked kerosene (MKO) may be supplied and used other than as a road fuel provided that they have been marked.

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Tied Oil distributors/users.

A wide variety of oil products may be supplied relieved of excise duty for industrial use, under the Tied Oils scheme. Oils assurance staff are involved in controlling and assuring the use of oils for use in solvents, paints and other industrial uses or to be incorporated in composite products. They may also be involved in processing and checking repayment claims where Tied Oils have been supplied duty-paid.

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Mineral oil reliefs

ISBC Fuel Duty (Oils) assurance staff may be involved in assuring the supply of a variety of rebated and relieved oils supplied under various mineral oil reliefs, including ‘Marine voyages’ and ‘Horticultural use’.

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Processing centres

In addition to the work carried out by Fuel Duty assurance, staff in Corporate Finance based in Southend and Cumbernauld, process oils returns, account for duty payments, processing claims and make repayments, or at least have done so until recently.

The Mineral Oils Relief Centre (MORC) in Newcastle, until approx mid-2018, processed approvals for the RDCO scheme and for Tied Oil ‘Distributors and Users’, as well as applications for registration to the schemes. This work transferred in stages to BT Ops, Glasgow. This work also includes processing applications to make ‘entry of premises’ for biofuel (‘Motor & Heating Fuels’) producers, as well as most mineral oil relief claims and Tied Oil returns. From March-April 2018, the work included receipt and processing of HO10 deferred duty returns from the oils majors, and also the HO930 return (biofuels), and the C&E930a return (gas as road fuel). Corporate Finance’s Central Deferment Office (CDO), Southend, still check actual bank receipts for the HO10.

Other staff in the National Approval Centre (NAC) and the National Registration Centres are involved in the authorisation of oils traders, and for the approval, registration and ‘entry’ of their production premises, tax warehouses and wharves. Staff at the NRC, maintain the SEED database, whilst staff at the National Verification Centre (NVC) administer and process requests for verification of movements of oil made under electronic Administrative Documents (eADs) both within the UK, and to and from other Member States.

The EMCS National Service Desk can answer EMCS procedural queries, including use of fallback procedures when there is a fault with the electronic system.

Technical or business queries can be forwarded to the EMCS National Service Desk Helpline. The email address for this is EMCS.Helpdesk,Harwich(BTOps). The telephone number is 0300 1231075.