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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 106/09


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Issued 7 January 2010

Mineral Oils: Marine voyages - meaning of 'sole agent'

Purpose of this brief

Clarification of what HMRC mean by 'sole agent' in the context of the Marine Voyages Relief scheme (MVR).


We have recently become aware of some confusion surrounding the term 'sole agent' in Public Notice 263: Marine voyages – excise duty relief for mineral (hydrocarbon) oil. This Brief seeks to clarify our policy in this area.

Section 4.1 of Public Notice 263 refers to a 'sole agent' who can make a repayment claim if authorised in accordance with that paragraph. There has been some debate over what the term 'sole agent' means. Some have interpreted this to mean that a given vessel may have only one agent regardless of where it is at the time the fuel is delivered. Others have thought that this interpretation was too restrictive on vessel owners who sought to shop around for their fuel supplies.

Legal advice has now confirmed that the relevant legislation allows HMRC to accept as sole agent, the ship’s agent who makes all claims in respect of that ship for the time when it is in any particular port. It does not have to be the one and only agent for all a ship’s claims regardless of where the ship may be at the time of the delivery or use of the fuel in respect of which a claim is made. This could mean that a ship may have a different ship’s agent for each UK port. Multiple agents are not allowed in order to prevent duplicate claims. HMRC will make checks to ensure that this does not happen.

Future treatment/implementation

Public Notice 263 is due to be updated as a result of the recent Marine Fuels Consultation. This clarification will be included in the Public Notice at the time of the update. For further advice on reclaiming excise duty on fuel used in vessels making marine voyages, you should contact our Helpline on Tel 0845 010 9000.

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© Crown Copyright 2010.

A licence is need to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs under the terms of a Click-Use Licence. Tax briefs are updated regularly and may be out of date at time of reading.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-01-12 20:37:54 in Tax Articles

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