The Government are today announcing the introduction of a new product to mark rebated fuels. The new marker will be produced by the chemical company Dow, and will be mandated for use in off-road diesel, known as red diesel in the UK, and kerosene, primarily used for heating oil.
Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in the battle against criminals who “launder” rebated fuel and sell it on for road use at a profit. The new marker being introduced will be highly resistant to such laundering.
The UK and Ireland launched a joint search for a new marker in 2012, which concluded last autumn after rigorous evaluation. This unique co-operation recognises that the criminals responsible for fuel laundering do not respect borders, and it means that for the first time the UK and Ireland will share a significantly improved marker. The Government are confident that this will severely limit the supply of oils fraudsters can use.
This Government are clear that fuel laundering is not a victimless crime; it robs the Government of tax revenue that could be used to fund vital public services; it puts all businesses that follow the rules at a commercial disadvantage, from retailers to haulage firms; and it can have a severe environmental impact, with considerable clean-up costs.
The new marker will be introduced in consultation with the oil industry and other affected sectors and will be used alongside the current marker mix. It is anticipated that the new marker will be introduced within 12 to 18 months and the relevant legislation will be amended during this period.