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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

Marking: background: introduction

Introduction

Marking refers to the addition of prescribed chemical markers and dyes to mineral oils to show that the oil has borne a lower (rebated) rate of duty.

See Notice 179, paragraph 8.1.

Gas oils, kerosenes and light furnace fuel can be removed from duty suspension on payment of duty at ‘rebated’ rates, provided that they are not to be used as road fuel.

As an indication of the rebated rate of duty being charged, the Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) Regulations 2002 (as amended by the Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) (Amendment) Regulations 2007), provide for these rebated oils to be marked (or marked and dyed).

This is done to deter misuse of the rebated oil as road fuel or extender and to provide for detection of marked oil by Road Fuel Testing Units (RFTUs).

For details of Oil products and their markers see HCOTEG212250

Chemical marking and dyeing may be done in duty suspended premises before the duty is charged, or after the duty has been charged at registered Remote Marking Premises (RMPS).

Although marked gas oil should not be used as a road fuel, it can be used legitimately in those vehicles listed as ‘excepted’ vehicles in Schedule 1 of the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979, provided that the vehicles qualify.

For further information on the use of rebated oils as a road fuel see Notice 75.

The use of rebated fuel as a road fuel in other circumstances is illegal.