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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Imports of mineral oil: procedures for dealing with contaminated oil removed from ships and aircraft

Oily sludge and contaminated oil

Excise duty is not charged on waste heavy fuel oils recycled as fuel oil for heating purposes as long as the recycling process is restricted to gravity settling and filtration.

Recycled heavy fuel oil which is to be used for heating purposes is similarly not liable to duty at import.

Recycled heavy oil imported for use as motor fuel is liable to duty.

Staff must ensure that imports of recycled heavy fuel oil or waste heavy fuel oil which is to be processed are supported by documentary evidence confirming that the recycling process is limited to simple gravity settling and filtration and does not involve vacuum distillation.


Contaminated oil may be landed from vessels or aircraft for laundering, processing, recovery and reshipment or destruction.

Removal for refining or warehousing

(Use the procedures in Table B HCOTEG210500).

Imports for laundering or recovery and reshipment

(Use the procedures in Table B HCOTEG210500).


Contaminated oil or sludge may be landed without formal entry, provided that it is only fit for destruction (see the procedures in Table B HCOTEG210500).

Ministry of Defence (MoD)

In accordance with C2-29A (UK Government Importations) waste and contaminated mineral oil ( which may be described as sullage ) including off-specification AVTUR and oil and water mixtures from ships bilges, may be landed from any MoD ship or aircraft, Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel or from merchant ships on charter to the MoD.