The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has given a cautious welcome to new measures against hauliers that use diesel that is not fully duty-paid.
HMRC has agreed a new protocol with the Traffic Commissioners and VOSA (the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency) that should see offenders reported to the industry regulators - TCs in respect of GB operators and the Transport Regulation Unit in respect of those from Northern Ireland.
Offenders will be reported by HMRC where the haulier should have known that the fuel detected was not subject to full duty payment. HMRC will also report cases where it seizes vehicles used to conceal large quantities of excise goods such as alcohol and tobacco.
RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning said: "This new protocol represents a radical and much-needed improvement in the co-ordination of the enforcement and regulatory effort. It should mean a transformation in reporting - and it is vital that is what happens in practice.
"I am much encouraged by HMRC's assurance that it shares the RHA's determination to eliminate non-compliance in respect of fuel duty and the damaging impact that has on legitimate hauliers.
“HMRC in turn deserves industry support in the work it is doing to combat use of diesel that is not duty-paid.
"We will continue to monitor enforcement and regulation in this area."