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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Marking: background: what markers are used?

Fiscal markers

The markers that show that oil has attracted a rebated rate of duty and is not to be used as a road fuel or for heating, are known as ‘fiscal markers’.

Euromarker

Whilst most countries have their own fiscal markers, there is also a common fiscal marker or ‘Euromarker’ which should be used in addition to the country’s own markers.

‘Solvent Yellow’ is a dye that acts as a stabiliser for the chemical in Euromarker and which shows up in detection tests: dimethyl amine. This marker is more easily ‘laundered’ (removed) and interfered with than the UK markers, but it must be used in EU law.

UK markers and dye

In the UK we use both markers and dye to identify oils which have been supplied ‘rebated’ other than for use as motor or heating fuel.

The use of markers is stipulated in the Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) Regulations 2002 (HOMR) Regulation 3 Sections (2) and (3) [as amended by the Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) (Amendment) Regulations 2007].

“(2) The markers are -

the common fiscal marker added in the proportion of not less than 6 and not more than 9 kilograms per 1,000,000 litres of oil;

the common UK fiscal marker added in the proportion of not less than 2.5 kilograms per 1,000,000 litres of oil;

quinizarin added in the proportion of not less than 1.75 kilograms per 1,000,000 litres of oil;

coumarin added in the proportion of not less than 2 kilograms per 1,000,000 litres of oil.

(3) the colouring substance is solvent red ( C1 Red 24) added in the proportion of not less than 4 kilograms per 1,000,000 litres of oil and solvent orange of not less than 0.4 kg per 1,000,000 litres of oil;

( For further information on which oils need to be marked and their appropriate markers and dyes see Notice 179 paragraph 8.3)

Composite Markers

In practise the required proportions of markers and dyes may be added to the oil to be marked, in the form of a composite marker, which consists of a combination of the markers and dyes and a carrying solution.

A small amount of this composite marker is then added in proportion to the volume of the oil that needs to be marked. These are commercially available and are usually known as Gas Oil Marker Concentrate (GOMC) and Kerosene Marker Concentrate (KMC). The standard ratio for the addition of GOMC to gas oil is 1:1,000 and for the addition of KMC to kerosene is 1:10,000 in order to meet the legal marking requirements.

Markers are obtained and supplied directly from commercial companies.

We require registered markers to store markers separately in labelled containers, to keep a record of use and to carry out regular stocktakes.

(See Notice 179, paragraph 8.6)

Commercially added markers

Commercial delivery firms are now increasingly adding a marker (usually an anti-theft dye) to their fuel, in order to stop employees filling their own tanks as well as the company’s vehicles.

Blue anthraquinone dyes can interfere with the detection of fiscal markers and dyes.

Under the Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) Regulations 2002 sections 14(3) and 15(1) as amended by the Hydrocarbon Oil (Marking) (Amendment) Regulations 2007, gas oil and kerosene may not be marked with any marker or substance, which interferes with our ability to detect the ‘fiscal markers’.

For further information see HCOTEG36500