HMRC reveals new roadside illicit fuel check tech

HMRC has unveiled the new roadside fuel testing equipment that will be used to detect the latest rebated fuel marker it introduced in April.

All 49 mobile testing units will be fitted out with the new analysis equipment by early next year. The first vehicle has already been fitted out with five more due to be operational in Northern Ireland by the end of the summer.

An HMRC spokesman declined to outline the cost of the new devices or comment on why the new marker had been introduced before all 49 mobile testing units had the capability to detect it.

He stressed, however, that the existing mobile testing units were still capable of detecting traces of existing rebated fuel markers and would continue to be used. He also said the latest equipment would be deployed in those areas of Northern Ireland where fuel fraud is most common.

Up to now, HMRC’s only option in proving the presence of the new marker in fuel has been to send samples back to a laboratory for analysis. The new equipment will speed up analysis and allow more detections of laundered fuel, he added.

HMRC has also revealed it will publish an evaluation of the success of the new fuel marker in the autumn.

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