Authorities step up fight against hauliers using dodgy diesel

HMRC, Vosa and the traffic commissioners (TCs) are stepping up their fight against fuel laundering and hauliers who use rebated diesel.

The parties have agreed a new protocol that should result in an increase in the number of such cases being referred by HMRC officers to the TCs, as well as the transport regulation unit in Northern Ireland.

Last year HMRC discovered 25 fuel laundering sites in the UK - 22 of them in Northern Ireland.

Geoff Dunning, Road Haulage Association chief executive, said the new protocol represents a "radical and much-needed improvement" in the co-ordination of the enforcement and regulatory effort.

He added: "It should mean a transformation in reporting - and it is vital that is what happens in practice.

"I am much encouraged by HMRC’s assurance that it shares the RHA’s determination to eliminate non-compliance in respect of fuel duty and the damaging impact that has on legitimate hauliers."

Ensuring free and fair competition

In a statement, HMRC said the involvement in excise fraud by hauliers is a matter the organisation takes very seriously.

"Evasion of excise duty by a minority of hauliers distorts free and fair competition within the market, placing the large majority of legitimate hauliers at a disadvantage and HMRC is committed to helping to create a level playing field," it added.

  • More than 14 tonnes of toxic waste have been removed from an industrial unit in Co Armagh after HMRC discovered a green diesel laundering plant. Officers from HMRC and the police service of Northern Ireland searched the units in the Jonesborough area and discovered a 40ft underground tanker, large quantities of illicit fuel, a quantity of bleaching earth - used to launder the diesel. The plant, estimated to be capable of producing 25 million litres of illicit fuel a year evading over £18 million in taxes and duty, was dismantled.