There are several ports through which refined oil products, such as diesel, can arrive into the State. The ports are in Dublin, Galway, Foynes and Tarbert. Crude oil is also received into Whitegate Refinery in Co. Cork for refining by ship. The Whitegate Refinery can also receive refined product by ship. Crude and refined oil product is stored on Whiddy Island, Bantry, Co, Cork. Refined oil product can also arrive into the State by road from Northern Ireland.
Marked gas oil (MGO) is diesel on which a reduced rate of Mineral Oil Tax (MOT), currently €117.78 per 1,000 litres has been paid on condition that it is used only for purposes that qualify for that reduced rate. Reduced rate purposes include non-propellant uses such as in agricultural tractors. It is chemically marked and dyed green to deter misuse for purposes to which the standard MOT rate applies, currently €494.90 per 1,000 litres. There is a legal requirement to add two national markers, Accutrace S10 and a blue dye, and also the Euromarker, Solvent Yellow 124, to gas oil which is being delivered to customers on payment of MOT at a reduced rate. This legal requirement is part of a scheme of controls intended to prevent and detect irregular use of reduced rate oils. The presence of prescribed markers can be detected by a chemical test. The addition of markers to these oils facilitates their identification if used illegally in a motor vehicle.
A range of controls and legal measures are in place to ensure that MGO is used only for its intended purpose:
- the places, vessels and pipes, where marking of diesel may be carried out, must be approved by Revenue. The addition of markers to diesel typically occurs at Revenue approved tax warehouses.
- all traders who produce, sell or deal in any mineral oil that is liable to a rate lower than the standard rate must obtain a licence from Revenue (Marked Fuel Trader’s Licence).
- Finance Act 1999 provides for offences relating to the improper use of MGO, such as its sale or use as a propellant, trading in this product without a Marked Fuel Trader’s Licence and removing / attempting to remove any marker. In addition, Finance Act 2001 includes a provision which makes any person who makes a supply or delivery of MGO knowing that, or is reckless as to whether, the transaction is connected to the evasion of MOT liable to be assessed for payment of the excise duty at the rate appropriate to them, without the benefit of any relief, rebate, repayment or lower rate.
- All traders in mineral oils, including MGO, must complete a monthly supply chain report to Revenue setting out details of all deliveries of mineral oil in the previous month
- a joint fuel marker (Accutrace S10) was put in place in 2015 with the United Kingdom which has supported enforcement cooperation on an all – island basis in this area.
The environmental specifications for gas oil used in non-road mobile machinery are subject to regulation under S.I. 155/2011, which transposed the Fuels Quality Directive (Directive 2009/30/EC).
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications has responsibility for setting out the technical specifications for gas oils, petrol and diesel in Ireland and I am informed that he is satisfied that these standards comply with the European standards as set out in the Directive.
Further detail on environmental fuel standards is available online at the link below: