Plastic company that ran HGV without permission refused O-licence

A plastic manufacturer has been refused a restricted O-licence by West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Jones after it operated a vehicle without permission for a significant period and instructed a driver to provide false information to the DVSA.

Jagjit Khera, director of Wednesbury-based Proplas 2008, had told one of its drivers to give examiners the O-licence number for a licence issued to another business in the event of being stopped.

A public inquiry (PI) on 22 October was told that a DVSA examiner was concerned the company and sole trader Davinder Singh, who trades as SJI Transport, were operating illegally after a driver, who claimed to work for Proplas, was stopped in September 2014.

Khera told an examiner that the vehicle was hired from SJI Transport, which raised suspicions that the SJI was operating outside of its single vehicle authorisation.

When questioned later, Singh told the examiner that although he had previously moved goods for Proplas, he now had no contact with them and had never owned the vehicle Khera claimed Singh had hired to him.

It transpired that the vehicle was registered to Khera, and the company had been convicted and fined for operating without an O-licence.

Proplas 2008 did not attend the PI and no evidence was produced to prove it had the financial resources for the restricted O-licence for two vehicles and four trailers it had applied for.

In his written decision the TC accepted that Singh had been truthful when he denied lending a vehicle to Proplas.

Jones said: “I have no difficulty whatsoever in confirming that Jagjit Khera attempted to mislead both the DVSA and myself.

“A consequence of this has been to cause considerable inconvenience and expense to Davinder Singh, who appears
to be wholly innocent despite earlier suspicions that he might have been loaning a licence or operating in excess of authority.”

Operating a vehicle without an O-licence had not been an isolated act by Proplas, the TC added.

The TC made no decision in respect of Davinder Singh’s O-licence.

  • This article was published in the 14 January issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe?

Insurance premium tax: are hauliers being overcharged?

Operators who carry out national and international work may be paying over the odds for the insurance premium tax (IPT) on their goods-in-transit insurance, has learned.

Speaking after the government increased the IPT rate from 6% to 9.5% at the beginning of November, Terry Marshell, MD of Anthony Jones Insurance Brokers, told that while IPT should only be levied on national work (international goods being exempt), many brokers apply the tax to the entire premium irrespective of the ratio of turnover, mileage or journeys that are attributable to international work.

“It used to be that insurers were forensic in terms of how it was broken down, but it’s something that has fallen by the wayside over the years,” Marshell said. 

An HMRC spokesman confirmed there is no prescribed way for brokers and insurers to calculate the ratio of national to international work when providing a quote; and no requirement for them to amend the costs at the end of the insurance period once the true, rather than estimated, ratio is known.

HMRC also said that insurers are not routinely required to provide any evidence of their IPT calculations to it, although they are required to keep evidence for possible inspection.

The tax collector has not indicated how often it asks insurers to see that evidence, however, or said how much of the ?2.9bn raised via IPT in 2014/2015 was accounted for by goods-in-transit policies.

Asked if the situation meant operators were paying the wrong amount of tax, HMRC would only say that insurers were obliged to apportion tax on a “just and reasonable” basis and that checks on such apportionments would form part of its ongoing tax assurance activities.

A spokeswoman for the Association of British Insurers said it could not confirm how IPT was being worked out by insurers and brokers.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association told CM a domestic/international split on IPT was being worked out by brokers and insurers based on turnover, and that there should not be any under or overcharging.

A spokeswoman said estimated premiums were “adjusted at year-end when the actual figures are known”.