Hydrocarbon Oil (Customs & Excise) Act 1971

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1971 c. 12


Hydrocarbon Oil (Customs & Excise) Act 1971

1971 CHAPTER 12

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to the duties of customs and excise on hydrocarbon oil, petrol substitutes and power methylated spirits.

[16th March 1971]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Classification of oils etc.

Classification of oils etc.

S-1 Hydrocarbon oil.

1 Hydrocarbon oil.

(1) The following subsections shall have effect for the purposes of the customs and excise Acts, and for defining the various descriptions of oil referred to in this Act.

(2) ‘Hydrocarbon oil’ means petroleum oil, coal tar, and oil produced from coal, shale, peat or any other bituminous substance, and all liquid hydrocarbons, but does not include such hydrocarbons or bituminous or asphaltic substances as are—

(a ) solid or semi-solid at a temperature of 60F, or

(b ) gaseous at a temperature of 60F and under a pressure of one atmosphere.

(3) ‘Light oil’ means hydrocarbon oil—

(a ) of which not less than 90 per cent. by volume distils at a temperature not exceeding 210C, or

(b ) which gives off an inflammable vapour at a temperature of less than 23C when tested in the manner prescribed by the Acts relating to petroleum.

(4) ‘Heavy oil’ means hydrocarbon oil other than light oil.

S-2 Provisions supplementing classification in s. 1.

2 Provisions supplementing classification in s. 1.

(1) The method of testing oil for the purpose of ascertaining its classification in accordance with section 1 of this Act shall, subject to paragraph (b ) of the definition of ‘light oil’ in section 1(3), be such as the Commissioners may direct.

(2) The Treasury may from time to time direct that, for the purposes of any duty of customs or excise for the time being chargeable on hydrocarbon oil, any specified description of light oil shall be treated as being heavy oil:

Provided that the Treasury shall not give such a direction in relation to any description of oil unless they are satisfied that the description is one which should, according to its use, be classed with heavy oil.

(3) For the purposes of the customs and excise Acts, the production of hydrocarbon oil includes—

(a ) the obtaining of one description of hydrocarbon oil from another description thereof; and

(b ) the subjecting of hydrocarbon oil to any process of purification or blending,

as well as the obtaining of hydrocarbon oil from other substances or from any natural source.

(4) Where heavy oil having a temperature exceeding 60F is measured for the purpose of ascertaining the amount of any duty of customs or excise chargeable, or of any rebate or drawback allowable, thereon and the Commissioners are satisfied that the oil is artificially heated, the duty shall be charged or the rebate or drawback shall be allowed on the number of gallons which, in the opinion of the Commissioners, the oil would have measured if the temperature thereof had been 60F.

S-3 Petrol substitutes and power methylated spirits.

3 Petrol substitutes and power methylated spirits.

(1) For the purposes of the excise Acts and this Act, ‘petrol substitute’ means any liquid intended to take the place of petrol as fuel for internal combustion piston engines, being neither hydrocarbon oil nor power methylated spirits.

(2) In subsection (1) above, ‘liquid’ does not include a substance which is gaseous at a temperature of 60F and under a pressure of one atmosphere.

(3) In this Act—

(a ) ‘methylated spirits’ means spirits mixed in the United Kingdom with some other substance in accordance with regulations made under section 118 of the Act of 1952; and

(b ) ‘power methylated spirits’ means spirits methylated in such manner as may be prescribed by those regulations for methylated spirits of that class.

Customs and excise duties and their incidence

Customs and excise duties and their incidence

S-4 Customs duty on hydrocarbon oil.

4 Customs duty on hydrocarbon oil.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, there shall be charged on hydrocarbon oil imported into the United Kingdom a duty of customs at the rate of 2212 p a gallon.

(2) Where imported hydrocarbon oil is removed to a refinery, the customs duty shall, instead of being charged at the time of the importation of that oil, be charged on the delivery of any goods from the refinery for home use and shall be the same as that which would be payable on the importation of like goods.

S-5 Hydrocarbon oil as ingredient of imported goods.

5 Hydrocarbon oil as ingredient of imported goods.

5. Where imported goods contain hydrocarbon oil as a part or ingredient thereof, the oil shall be disregarded in the application to the goods of section 259 of the Act of 1952 (charge of duty on manufactured or composite articles) unless in the opinion of the Commissioners they should, according to their use, be classed with hydrocarbon oil.

S-6 Excise duty.

6 Excise duty.

6. A duty of excise at the same rate as the duty of customs charged under section 4 above shall be charged—

a ) on hydrocarbon oil produced in the United Kingdom which is delivered for home use from a refinery or from other premises used for the production of hydrocarbon oil or from any bonded storage for hydrocarbon oil and which is not chargeable with the customs duty on hydrocarbon oil
b ) on any petrol substitute which is sent out from the premises of a person producing or dealing in petrol substitutes and which was not acquired by him duty paid under this paragraph; and
c ) on spirits used for making power methylated spirits (payable by the methylator immediately after the spirits have been so used).
Delivery without payment of duty

Delivery without payment of duty

S-7 Oil delivered for home use for certain industrial purposes.

7 Oil delivered for home use for certain industrial purposes.

(1) The Commissioners may permit hydrocarbon oil to be delivered for home use to an approved person, without payment of customs or excise duty thereon, where the oil—

(a ) is to be put by him to a use qualifying for relief under this section; or

(b ) is to be supplied by him in the course of a trade of supplying oil for any such use.

(2) The uses of hydrocarbon oil qualifying for relief under this section are—

(a ) use in the manufacture or preparation of any article not being hydrocarbon oil or an article which in the opinion of the Commissioners should, according to its use, be classed with hydrocarbon oil; and

(b ) use for cleaning plant, in connection with the use of the plant in the manufacture or preparation of such an article,

but do not include the use of oil as fuel or, except as provided by subsection (3) of this section, as a lubricant.

(3) Where, in the manufacture or preparation of an article described in subsection (2)(a ) above, hydrocarbon oil is used for preventing or reducing friction, adhesion or contact—

(a ) between parts or components of the article; or

(b ) between the article or a part or component thereof and any plant used in the manufacture or preparation, or any part or component of plant so used,

that use of the oil is to be included among the uses qualifying for relief under this section.

(4) In this section, ‘plant’ means any machinery, apparatus, equipment or vessel.

(5) Where the Commissioners are authorised to give permission under subsection (1) of this section in the case of any oil, but the permission is for any reason not given, the Commissioners shall, if they are satisfied that the oil has been put by an approved person to a use qualifying for relief under this section, repay to him the amount of the customs or excise duty paid thereon, less any rebate allowed in respect of the duty.

S-8 Restrictions on use of duty-free oil.

8 Restrictions on use of duty-free oil.

(1) Except with the consent of the Commissioners, no oil in the case of which delivery without payment of duty has been permitted under section 7 of this Act shall—

(a ) be put to a use not qualifying for relief under that section; or

(b ) be acquired or taken into any vehicle, appliance or storage tank in order to be put to such a use.

(2) In giving their consent for the purposes of subsection (1) above, the Commissioners may impose such conditions as they think fit.

(3) A person who—

(a ) uses or acquires oil in contravention of subsection (1) above; or

(b ) is liable for oil being taken into a vehicle, appliance or storage tank in contravention of that subsection,

shall be liable to a penalty of three times the value of the oil or 100, whichever is the greater; and the Commissioners may recover from him an amount equal to the customs duty on like oil at the rate in force at the time of the contravention.

(4) A person who supplies oil having reason to believe that it will be put to a use not qualifying for relief under section 7 of this Act shall, if that use without consent of the Commissioners would contravene subsection (1) above, be liable to the said penalty.

(5) Where the act in respect of which a person is liable to a penalty under subsection (3) or (4) above was done (whether by him or any other person) with the intent by him that the restrictions imposed by subsection (1) should be contravened, he shall be liable to the said penalty, or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or to both.

(6) A person is liable for oil being taken into a vehicle, appliance or storage tank in contravention of subsection (1) above if he is at the time the person having the charge of the vehicle, appliance or tank, or is the owner thereof, except that if a person other than the owner is, or is for the time being, entitled to possession of it, that...

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