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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

Imports of mineral oil: Mineral oil brought ashore by pipeline: Background


Pipelines are often used to bring natural gas and mineral oil ashore from the sea bed. These products may be carried separately or together, or jointly with other substances. The normal import procedure (i.e. ship’s report, import declaration, delivery from ship and import account) has been adapted for goods brought ashore together by pipeline until they are separated. Approved pipelines may also be used to move mineral oil from one bonded installation on shore to another bonded installation for storage, if effectively part of the same warehouse.

Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA), section 24 provides that uncleared goods may not be moved by a pipeline unless that pipeline has been approved by the Commissioners. All dutiable goods imported by pipeline are required to be declared for warehousing and are subject to the general provisions of CEMA relating to warehoused goods. Non-dutiable goods must be taken to a point at which the necessary customs control can be exercised.

The Customs and Excise Duties (General Reliefs) Act 1979 section 14, (CEGRA) provides that any goods which are produced in any area designated under the Continental Shelf Act 1964 section 1 (7) (i.e. an area in which the UK has exploitation rights) and brought direct into the UK from that area, are deemed for the purposes of any duties chargeable not to be imported. However, you should check the position for import VAT and customs duty with the relevant policy units.

Mineral oil is chargeable with excise duty whether it is produced in a UK designated area or otherwise. References in this part to imported oil refer to all oil brought into the UK by pipeline, whatever its origin.