HC Deb 27 March 1996 vol 274 cc611-2W
Mr. Matthew Banks

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are being taken to prevent avoidance of duty on hydrocarbon oils by mixing products after the duty has been paid. [23503]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

Subject to a resolution of the House, the Government will be bringing forward two new clauses at the report stage of the Finance Bill. These clauses will ensure that duty at the appropriate rate will have to be paid if non-dutiable kerosene is added to diesel road fuel, or to gas oil for use in off-road vehicles respectively. The first new clause will also ensure that lead or octane enhancers cannot be added to unleaded petrol by distributors or retailers without the higher rate of duty being paid. Both new clauses will come into force on a date to be specified in an order made by the commissioners of Customs and Excise.

Mr. Banks

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to review the law covering the duty on hydrocarbon oils. [23507]

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

Customs and Excise will shortly be starting a major review of the legislation covering the way hydrocarbon oil duty is charged with the aim of bringing forward proposals next year for having it set out more clearly and simply. Customs will be consulting fully with the trade and other interested parties. The intention is not to review the rates of duty charged or the current rebates and exemptions or the time at which duty is charged, matters on which the Chancellor of the Exchequer will make his decisions in the normal way, but to put the existing provisions in a simpler and more robust format which will be better able to cope with the introduction of new products.