NEW DYE TO COMBAT DIESEL LAUNDERING  The Northern Standard Thursday 2nd April p.1

Michael Fisher 

Containers filled with toxic diesel sludge abandoned at a roadside in Co. Monaghan  Photo: RTÉ News 2012

Containers filled with toxic diesel sludge abandoned at a roadside in Co. Monaghan Photo: RTÉ News 2012

New measures to tackle diesel laundering have been introduced on both sides of the border. From yesterday (Wednesday), a new, additional fuel marker for rebated fuel is being introduced following consultation with, and support from, the oil sector.

The illegal dumping of diesel laundering waste has been a huge problem in County Monaghan for over ten years. The hazardous waste has to be sent abroad for disposal. Monaghan County Council estimated the total costs incurred in its area because of diesel wash between 2004 and 2013 totalled over €2.14 million. Last year the clean-up cost was over €600,000 and this was reimbursed by the Department of Environment.

The Irish and British governments say the new fuel marker is now required in addition to the existing mineral oil markers. Producers and suppliers of rebated fuel must ensure that any supply of rebated fuel removed from the warehouse for home use contains the new mix of markers as set out in legislation in the different jurisdictions. revenue

The Revenue Commissioners say action against the illegal use of marked fuel is an integral part of their wide-ranging programme of action against all forms of fuel fraud. An extensive range of new measures have been introduced over recent years to tackle fuel fraud, including enhanced supply chain controls and now the acquisition of a more effective fuel marker.

This marker will help both the Revenue Commissioners and the British Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to tackle the criminal market in off-road diesel, marked with a green dye in Ireland and a red dye in the UK, and also kerosene primarily used for heating oil. Excise duty on rebated diesel is charged at a lower rate than standard fuel duty.

Launderers primarily target red or green diesel, filtering it through chemicals or acids to remove the government marker. The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars.

The new marker is produced by The Dow Chemical Company and is intended to make rebated fuel much harder for fraudsters to remove the dye and to sell on at a profit. Rebated fuel use is strictly limited to specific circumstances, primarily in agriculture, construction and heating.

The new marker does not have any colour and is added in addition to the current markers. There will be no change of colour. Specialised equipment is required to confirm the presence of the new marker.

The exact formation of the new marker is secret, but it only consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It does not contain any halogens or metals. The manufacturer expects it to be fully compatible with all fuels containing ethanol or biodiesel. It is not expected to affect engine emissions.

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