Fuel distributors to prepare for possible fiscal marker change

UK fuel distributors must gear up for potential changes to the fiscal fuel marker system that could affect the United Kingdom from next year, according to John Hogg Technical Solutions.

Fuel distributors to prepare for possible fiscal marker change

A public announcement by HMRC, expected soon, will confirm how UK law will respond to reflect changes already underway in the European Union.

Accutrace Plus

Companies in EU member states – from 18 January 2024 – must comply with a directive that makes AccutraceTM Plus Fuel Marker the common fiscal marker for gas oils and kerosene in the EU. The technology chosen by the European Commission for tax rebated fuels replaces the original Euromarker, Solvent Yellow 124, with a marker meant to be more resistant to removal and less environmentally toxic.

According to HMRC sources, there are “no plans to stop using Accutrace S10 or Solvent Yellow 124 in the UK”. However, as Northern Ireland is expected to comply with EU fuel marking legislation, this could influence the uptake of Accutrace Plus in the rest of the UK.

Philip Double of John Hogg said: “Any company marking fuel to a lower tax rebated level needs to be ready for this potential and imminent change to the common fiscal marker rules.

“If the UK chooses to introduce the additional marker alongside existing products, this means that fuel distributor operations will need a plan to run down stocks of the old marker product from their systems and introduce the new product. Also, testing methods will differ and involve more sophisticated detection equipment.”

Minimum disruption

“With this eventuality in mind, we are currently working hard to ensure minimum disruption for companies if and when the change happens. That includes preparing and testing samples with a view to supplying a range of marker concentrates to comply with any new requirements.”

John Hogg has already been supporting companies in the EU with the transition. In Germany, this has involved supplying 250,000L of the new common fiscal marker – the equivalent of three months’ stock delivered in six weeks – under the company’s brand name, Dyeguard®.

John Hogg was instrumental in helping the industry implement the first Euromarker in 2002 – along with the Accutrace S10 fuel marker in 2015 – and experience gained from these initiatives is being redeployed now in the EU: “Making such changes needs open dialogue with companies and the governing authorities to understand the requirements and to create an effective implementation plan,” said Philip.

“In the case of any changes that happen in the UK following HMRC’s announcement in October, we will assist companies with inventory planning management and encourage UKIFDA members to contact us for support.”