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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

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Law - background: EU legislation

Introduction

The European Union (EU) was founded through its treaties. These are the primary source of EU law. All other sources of EU law are secondary or derived. They originate from powers conferred on the institutions by the treaties, and quote the relevant article(s) on which they are based in the pre-amble.

Regulations have general application throughout the whole community. They are binding in their entirety and directly applicable in each member state.

Directives are binding as to the results required, but they leave it instead to the national authorities of each member state to choose the forms and means to achieve those results. In the UK this is usually by means of an Act of Parliament or an SI.

However, a Member State may not necessarily implement all the terms in a Directive providing it obtains a derogation from the EU. Derogations will only be considered where the Directive concerned allows for a derogation to be made. For example, until November 2008 the UK held an ‘extended’ derogation which allowed pleasure craft to continue to use rebated fuel. The UK was no longer allowed to retain this derogation after that date.

 

Where to find details of EU legislation

All Regulations and Directives made by the EU are published in the Official Journal. Details of existing EU legislation may be found on the internet via the gateway to the European Union . Details of selected EC Legislation may also be found in the CCH Purple Book published by Wolters Kluwer. Selected EU legislation is in the back of the Purple Book - Customs and Excise Duties 3B.

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