With effect from April 1st 2003 any business that deals in controlled oil - otherwise known as Red Diesel - must be approved and registered to do so by HM Customs and Excise. For the purposes of these regulations dealing includes passing on such fuel in the tanks of hired vehicles.
It is now illegal to use rebated oils such as red diesel in a road vehicle. To crack down on potential fraud rules require the distributors of such fuel to check that their customers are entitled to receive this fuel.
A fork lift hire company that hires out trucks with red diesel in their tanks is classified as a dealer for the purposes of this legislation. This applies even if a truck is supplied with just a single litre of fuel in the tank! As such a dealer the company must be approved. In order to do this the company must register with HM Customs and Excise. Registration is a one off requirement so that subsequent accounting for the fuel can be kept to a minimum.Application to Plant Hire Businesses
Fork lift truck hire companies are plant hire businesses. When the new legislation was introduced the implications were not completely clear. At the request of a number of trade associations the situation has now been clarified by HM Customs and Excise. They have provided an RDCO information note X/03 and this is available through their National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000