Fuel retailers could save signficant sums of money by buying fuel under duty deferment terms available from HMRC, claimed Alan Powell of tax specialist Alan Powell Associates, at last month’s Regeneration Forum at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Westminster.

The Forum, which was hosted by the PRA and organised in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, featured Michael Fallon MP, the Minister for Energy and Business, as the keynote speaker. He spoke on a range of vital industry issues including business rates, the upcoming energy resilience review of UK oil refineries and government plans to support the independent forecourt sector. The Minister was keen to thank both the PRA and its members for their cooperation with his Department during recent events at Grangemouth.

He also addressed issues from retailers at the event and was briefed on the current state of the retail fuels market.

The forum, which was attended by leading members of the forecourt sector, professional service providers and senior Whitehall officials was an opportunity for the PRA to draw awareness to issues adversely impacting the growth opportunities for independent petrol retailers. However it was the presentation by Powell about using the Excise Payment and Securities System (EPSS) to defer duty payments on fuel deliveries which was one of the biggest talking points, with some retailers about to trial the scheme.

"It’s a real game changer," said Powell. "The improved cash-flow brings real benefits for retailers."