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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

Law - background: interpreting the law and regulations

Introduction to using and interpreting Law

This section assumes access to a current version of the Purple Book and does not seek to reproduce any of the sections from this. It also assumes that oils assurance officers have obtained at least some background knowledge and some experience of the relevant oils law before any of this section is applied. Accordingly new officers should seek advice from colleagues who have greater experience in, and of applying and interpreting oils law.

Importance of understanding terms and definitions

For each act or regulation it is important to read and cross refer at all times to the ‘interpretation’ section of the Act - which lists and defines terms whose meanings are precise and consistently applied at all times throughout the rest of the Act or Regulation.

Please note that they may not be exactly the same definitions in each case and that the precise definition of any term may vary between Acts and Regulations. (These sections do not lend themselves to précis and are not reproduced here).

When coming across any term that describes a person, place, item or event, it is important to check what its definition is - it may be a standard dictionary definition, but often it is not.