‘Stock’ is generally taken to mean goods kept by a trader for sale to the consumer or another business, or may be materials to be turned into a product for sale. Materials to be turned into other products are often referred to as raw materials.
Anything that comes under this general definition may be considered to be stock, and may even include animals, in the case of a farm, for example. Stock does not include the equipment used by a business to process material, instead that would be ‘plant and machinery’ – which is covered by Part 4 of this chapter. Similarly, materials in a partially completed state would be considered to be work in progress - on which guidance is given in Part 3.
Generally speaking, it should be possible for the official receiver to employ his/her normal agents to deal with the collection and sale of stock, although some stock may require the services of a specialist agent.
The official receiver should, of course, check that there are no valid third party claims over the items (see paragraph 31.6.7).
This Part gives advice on realising (rather than protecting) the stock, though invariably there will be some overlap. General advice on protecting stock can be found in Chapter 8, as can specific guidance on the initial actions to be taken in respect of the following:
Guidance on dealing with items held by an insolvent that are owned by a third party is provided in Chapter 31.0, Part 2.
This Part gives guidance and information on the following types of stock:
Alcohol (see paragraph 31.6.57)
Antiques (see paragraph 31.6.69)
Collectibles (see paragraph 31.6.69)
Drugs/medicines (see paragraph 31.6.23)
Explosives (including fireworks) (see paragraph 31.6.32)
Firearms (see paragraph 31.6.67)
Flowers (see paragraph 31.6.64)
Food (see paragraph 31.6.52)
Fuel (petrol/diesel) (see paragraph 31.6.70)
Groceries (see paragraph 31.6.56)
Livestock (see paragraph 31.6.40)
Memorabilia (see paragraph 31.6.69)
Milk (see paragraph 31.6.45)
Motor vehicles (see paragraph 31.6.74)
Offensive weapons (see paragraph 31.6.68)
Pet animals (see paragraph 31.6.58)
Seasonal goods (see paragraph 31.6.22)
Seeds (see paragraph 31.6.50)
Works of art (see paragraph 31.6.69)
(Amended February 2014)
Where the official receiver is dealing with potentially dangerous stock (such as explosives, firearms or drugs/medicines), he/she should inform the insurer (see Chapter 49) that any insured premises contain these items. The official receiver should inform the insurer, if he/she has continued the insolvent’s insurance, when the items are disposed of. Where the official receiver obtained his/her own insurance it should be cancelled in accordance with paragraph 49.27B when the items are disposed of or an insolvency practitioner appointed.
Guidance produced by the Trading Standards Institute states the following:
‘When goods are sold to customers they must be safe. If goods are unsafe and they cause death, injury or damage to property, the manufacturer, the retailer and/or anyone else in the supply chain may need to meet a claim for compensation.
Where goods that are unsafe are supplied and those goods cause injury or death, the person so injured (or their estate if deceased) has the right to make a claim against the supplier or the producer of the goods [note 1].
If the injured party wishes to make a claim against the producer of the goods, he/she can compel the supplier to provide details of the producer. If that supplier fails to provide to the claimant, within a reasonable time, details of the producer of the goods, he/she is liable to a claim for compensation [note 2].
Where the official receiver has sold goods and subsequently receives a request to supply the details of the producer, he/she should do so without delay – seeking the advice of Technical Section where required.
In addition to civil sanctions, there are also criminal sanctions for the supply of unsafe goods [note 3].
It is likely that agents used by the official receiver will be aware of the various pieces of safety legislation. Where there is doubt, the official receiver should ensure that the general application of the relevant laws is brought to the attention of the agents and that the agent checks, in so far as is possible, the safety of the goods to be sold, with regard to the general regulations [note 4] or any regulations specifically applying to the goods – for example, in regards to:
Apart from the requirement to supply goods that are safe (see paragraph 31.6.18), a person supplying goods also has a duty to supply goods that are of satisfactory quality, are free from faults, match the description given and are fit for purpose [note 12]. If goods supplied do not meet those requirements, the supplier may be liable to take remedial action (such as replacing the goods or giving a refund), or to pay compensation.
Unless other regulations are applicable (see paragraph 31.6.19, for example) the only thing that the official receiver need bear in mind as regards seasonal goods is that their value is likely to (significantly) diminish once the relevant season has ended. In this case it is imperative that the official receiver act quickly to maximise the return to creditors. Examples of seasonal goods are as follows:
Stocks of drugs may be held by wholesalers or retail pharmacists. In addition, small stocks of drugs are likely to be found at the premises of doctors, dentists or veterinary surgeons. Similarly, hospitals, clinics and residential/nursing homes are all likely to hold some stock of medicines.
The law provides for controls over the sale of medicines, with the level of control or restriction dependant on the class of the medicine, as follows:
Guidance relating to controlled drugs is provided in paragraphs 31.6.27 to 31.6.31.
Following the restrictions outlined at paragraph 31.6.23, the official receiver’s agents may only sell those medicines on the general sale list. A wholesaler may agree to take back a stock of other types of medicines, in exchange for payment.
Where it is not possible for the medicines to be sold or returned, the official receiver should consider issuing a disclaimer of the medicines, served upon the local Primary Care Trust and the owner of the premises at which the medicines are stored (see Chapter 34). If the official receiver is retaining the premises for sale, it will not be possible to disclaim the medicines (as it will not be possible to disclaim the drugs without also disclaiming the underlying reversionary interest in the property (thereby losing the value of the property to the estate) and, instead the guidance at paragraph 31.6.25 should be followed.
Where it is not possible to sell or disclaim the insolvent’s stock of medicines (see paragraph 31.6.24), the official receiver, as liquidator or trustee, will need to dispose of them.
The website of the Sanitary Medical Disposal Services Association (SMDSA), contains a list of members that are authorised to dispose of surplus/waste medicines:
Some of these companies do work on a contract-only basis, so it might be a case of ringing around to find a company that will do work on a ‘supply and collect’ basis. The arrangement will generally work on the basis of the company supplying specially marked tubs (called ‘bins’) into which are placed the drugs; the bins then being collected by the company.
The official receiver should discuss his/her requirements with the prospective company, but one difficulty for him/her is likely to be in that the drugs/medicines generally have to be sorted by category into bins for collection. Special procedures may be required for controlled drugs. It is anticipated that the insolvent may be able to assist in this, and any difficulties should be referred to Technical Section.
From the point of view of the official receiver dealing with herbal medicines or remedies, the guidance for general list medicines may be followed as regards sale (see paragraph 31.6.24) and disposal (see paragraph 31.6.25) [note 19].
Dealings in certain types of drugs are controlled by legislation [note 20] [note 21], with the possession, supply and production of specified drugs a criminal offence. Some drugs are controlled only to the extent that records must be kept relating to their storage and use [note 22] [note 23], whereas the possession of some drugs is prohibited entirely, except for research purposes. Those drugs that are controlled are specified in the legislation [note 24] and are classified in five groups depending on the level of control provided for in the legislation.
Guidance on the initial stages of dealing with controlled drugs is given in paragraphs 8.89 to 8.89d.
The legislation provides that certain controlled drugs are stored in a prescribed manner [note 25], and the movement and use of such drugs recorded [note 26] (see paragraphs 8.89c to 8.89d). This may assist the official receiver is assessing stock levels.
The restrictions on the sale (supply) of controlled drugs (see paragraph 31.6.27) would prohibit the official receiver or his/her normal agents from selling the drugs. If the value of the drugs warrants it, the official should seek to appoint a specialist agent but, given that stocks of controlled drugs encountered by official receivers are likely to be small, it is more likely that the agent’s costs in dealing with the drugs will exceed the value, and a disclaimer will be appropriate (see paragraph 31.6.30).
It will not be possible to disclaim the drugs unless the property in which the drugs are stored is also disclaimed and, of course, the official should not do this if the property has a value to the estate in excess of the cost of disposing of the drugs. In which case, the official receiver will have to arrange for the drugs to be disposed of (see paragraph 31.6.31).
Where a disclaimer is appropriate, the official receiver should arrange for the drugs to be disclaimed, serving notice of the disclaimer on the owner of the premises, the local Primary Care Trust and the local Police drug liaison officer. Chapter 34 provides further information on dealing with a disclaimer.
If it is not possible to disclaim the drugs, for example if the official receiver is not also in a position to disclaim the property as it has a realisable value to the insolvent estate (see paragraph 31.6.32), he/she should arrange for the drugs to be disposed of, following the guidance in paragraph 31.6.25.
The official receiver may encounter explosives when dealing with businesses who manufacture, store or sell the following types of goods:
Explosives may also be encountered in the following types of businesses:
Strictly speaking, there are actually few restrictions on the sale of explosives, but there are strict rules regarding storage (including rules regarding goods on display for sale), which effectively act as controls over the sale (see paragraphs 31.6.35 and 31.6.36).
The official receiver should confirm with the director or bankrupt that the explosives are being stored in line with the requirements of the legislation (see paragraphs 31.6.35 and 31.6.36). In all events, it is likely the advice of the local trading standards department should be sought and many publish useful guidance on-line.
Assuming all is well with the storage of the explosives, the official receiver may instruct his regular agents to act in the sale – but, necessarily, the sale may only be from the premises originally used by the business unless the official receiver can be satisfied that the premises of the agent are equally suitable.
Licences for the storage of explosives are issued by the local licensing authority (usually the local authority) or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) [note 27]. The licence applies to the person, rather than the premises at which the explosives are stored, and ‘person’ can mean a company or an individual.
If a licensee goes into liquidation, or is made bankrupt, the official receiver, as liquidator or trustee is treated as the licensee [note 28]. This is unlikely to apply to the official receiver as receiver and manager and, where he/she wishes to take action (including inspecting) in relation to premises in which explosives are stored, the official receiver should seek guidance from the relevant licensing authority [note 29].
The regulations relating to the storage of explosives are complex and vary depending on the nature of the explosive and the amount kept [note 30] [note 31] [note 32]. Suffice to say that any person storing explosives for commercial reasons is likely to require a licence (see paragraph 31.6.34) or to be registered with the local authority (see paragraph 31.6.36).
The storage of explosives in quantities of up to 50kg is permitted without licence (see paragraph 31.6.34) or registration. The storage of quantities of over 50kg but up to 250kg requires registration with the local authority, whilst quantities over 250kg require a licence.
Some explosives, such as fireworks or party poppers have a demand for them that will fluctuate seasonally. Where, for example, the official receiver is dealing with a stock of fireworks he/she should make every effort to deal with the sale of the fireworks (see paragraph 31.6.33) before November 5 or, as the case may be, 1 January.
If the explosives have no realisable value, the official receiver should arrange for them to be disclaimed but only if the underlying reversionary interest in the property in which they are stored has no value, serving notice of the disclaimer on the owner of the premises, the Health and Safety Executive, the local authority trading standards department and the local Police explosives liaison officer (http://www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/elo.htm).
Farming stock can have special requirements and should be dealt with as per the guidance given in the following paragraphs:
Farming equipment would be considered plant and machinery, which is dealt with in Part 4.
Livestock is the term used to describe animals kept in connection with a farming business. Guidance on dealing with animals kept as stock to be sold as pets is in paragraph 31.6.60.
Guidance on dealing with the animals in the initial stages of the case is given in paragraphs 8.81 to 8.82 of Chapter 8.
It is unlikely that the official receiver’s normal agents will be able to assist in the sale of livestock, though they may be able to suggest a specialist agent. Failing that, an internet search for ‘livestock sales’ should uncover agents that might be willing to assist.
Before formally instructing agents, the official receiver should ask the agent for an estimate of the value of the animals and his/her likely fees in dealing with the sale. Only if there is likely to be a realisable value should the official receiver proceed with the instruction. In reaching this decision, the official receiver will need to take into account the costs of housing and feeding the animals in the period leading up to the sale (see paragraph 31.6.41). In this, it is accepted that the official receiver may need to outlay monies to pay for an inspection of the animals by the agent.
Where the animals have no realisable value the guidance in paragraph 31.6.43 should be followed.
Where the official receiver is advised that the animals have no realisable value they should be offered to a reputable animal charity such as the RSPCA (a search of the internet using the term ‘farm animal rescue’, or similar may lead to details of a local organisation).
If it is not possible to dispose of the animals in this way, the advice of Technical Section should be sought as it is possible that the official receiver will have to arrange for them to be destroyed at the expense of the estate, as a disclaimer is unlikely to be appropriate (see paragraph 31.6.44).
Due to the requirements of the animal welfare legislation to, amongst other things, house, protect and feed animals appropriately [note 35] [note 36], it is extremely unlikely to ever be appropriate to disclaim an interest in livestock. In short, the official receiver may be open to an allegation of animal cruelty as the last owner of the animals.
A disclaimer should be issued if requested by an animal welfare organisation (see paragraph 31.6.43), where it might be required to allow them to take possession of the animals.
By its very nature as a commodity that is produced and sold on a daily basis, it is unlikely that a dairy farmer will be carrying a large stock of milk. Any livestock used in the milk production should be dealt with in accordance with paragraphs 31.6.40 to 31.6.44.
Most (if not all) dairy farmers who supply milk are in sole supply contracts, also termed ‘exclusive contracts’. There are two types of exclusive contract, those that provide for the farmer to supply all produced milk to the purchaser and the purchaser is obliged to collect all that is produced (these are called ‘exclusive evergreen contracts’) and those that ‘cap’ the volume at a certain level. In those second type of contracts the purchaser will buy the milk produced over the capped level at a significantly lower price. The ‘capped’ contract is usually used for producers of organic milk.
Where the farmer is in one of these type of exclusive contracts, it is possible that monies will be owing to the farmer in respect of milk already supplied. This should be dealt with as a book debt (see Chapter 31.2).
So far as the official receiver is concerned, the most effective way to realise a stock of milk would be to continue with whatever arrangement has been entered into by the farmer (see paragraph 31.6.45), unless the official receiver’s agents advise otherwise.
Due to the restrictions on the sale of fresh food and drink (see paragraph 31.6.54), milk should not be sold directly to suppliers or end users and, instead, the arrangement entered into by the farmer should be continued with (see paragraph 31.6.46) where the sale of milk stock is required.
Grain is traded in 29t lorries, and a sales contract will typically be for multiples of a lorry (typically from one to, perhaps, ten), or for the farmer’s entire produce of a variety, a crop species or all his/her crops via a grain pool.
Grain pools are typically where the tonnage harvested/committed before harvest is marketed by a cooperative. Some combinable crop farmers will be completely loyal to an individual coop or merchant for all combinable crops they grow.
Straw is not generally marketed by grain companies, but by hay and straw merchants or straw baling contractors. Some is purchased by power stations. Maize is almost all grown for forage, the small amount harvested for grain and traded is done the same way as other combinable crops.
Ideally, the crops should be dealt with as soon as possible (see paragraph 31.6.49). Where necessary, the official receiver should seek the advice of the company to whom the grain is to be sold regarding storage of the crops pending sale, to avoid the grain spoiling in the meantime.
So far as the official receiver is concerned, the most effective way to realise a stock of grain would be to continue with whatever arrangement has been entered into by the farmer (see paragraph 31.6.48), unless the official receiver’s agents advise otherwise.
See paragraph 31.10.110 for information on the intellectual property protection afforded to developers of new varieties of seed.
A seed merchant must hold a British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) sub-licence to be able to produce and trade in seeds of the protected varieties. The licence will specify the types of protected seed that they are allowed to trade in. In practice, any seed merchant active in the UK must hold a BSPB sub-licence. The sub-licence terminates immediately and automatically on insolvency.
It is the case, therefore, that, where an insolvency order is made against a seed merchant (or similar), no sale can take place of any seed that is held as stock, any as grown seed or any seed crop that is in the field without the rights holder’s permission as there is no valid licence in place at that point.
In the situation described at paragraph 31.6.50, the official receiver, as liquidator or trustee, should contact the BSPB (http://www.bspb.co.uk/contact.html) to discuss the options that are available and BSPB will liaise with the relevant rights holder(s). In general, royalties will be payable on any sale of any of the seed but there will be a range of options that can be agreed as to who can hold the licence under which the seed will be sold and who will therefore be liable for the payment of the royalties to BSPB on it.
There have been previous instances in which the liquidator or trustee has been licensed by the BSPB to sell the seed and pay the royalty, and others in which seed and crops have been transferred or sold to other merchants who have taken on the obligation to pay the royalty.
For the purposes of food safety legislation, food is defined as ‘any substance or product, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, intended to be, or reasonably expected to be ingested by humans’ [note 37]. Such definition would include drink and items not intended to be swallowed, such as chewing gum.
Food does not include animal feed, live animals (except those prepared for consumption – for example, oysters), plants prior to harvesting, medicines, cosmetics or tobacco or tobacco products [note 38].
For the purposes of this Part, fresh food can be taken to mean food normally kept in fridges or freezers, fresh vegetables and/or fruit and food with a ‘use-by’ date (as opposed to a ‘best-before’ date). The advice in paragraph 31.6.54 should be followed for fresh food. Food with only a ‘best-before’ date can be considered not to be ‘fresh food’ for the purposes of this Part. The advice in paragraph 31.6.56 should be followed for this type of food.
The supply of food for human consumption is regulated by a number of pieces of legislation [note 39] [note 40] [note 41] [note 42] [note 43]. Of particular note is that it is an offence to sell food that does not comply with food safety requirements [note 44]. As it will be impossible for the official receiver to be satisfied that the fresh food stock (see paragraph 31.6.54) of an insolvent business is safe for human consumption (for example, a freezer or fridge may have been turned off and turned back on again), such stock should be disposed of (see paragraph 31.6.55) and not sold.
The legislation provides that the supply of food otherwise than by sale is to be deemed a sale of food [note 45]. In this case, it will not be possible for the official receiver to arrange for food to be given away.
It should be possible for food to be disposed of through the normal local authority refuse collection system used by the business.
If it is not possible to dispose of the food waste through the normal refuse disposal system, the food should be disclaimed (see Chapter 34) with the notice of disclaimer being served on the local environmental health department and the landlord. A disclaimer should not be issued if the official receiver is retaining the business premises as an asset of the estate and, instead, a contractor should be employed to dispose of the waste. It is likely that the local environmental health officer will be able to suggest a suitable contractor.
Food that is not fresh (as in food that is not intended to be sold as fresh, such as tinned, food in jars or packaged food – generally, food with a ‘best-before’, rather than a ‘use-by’ date) is unlikely to have become unfit for consumption (see paragraph 31.6.54) due to the less demanding storage requirements on that type of food. Assuming that the ‘best-before’ date has not passed and there is no obvious reason to suspect that the food has become in any way unfit (such as water contamination of broken/damaged packaging), it should be possible for the official receiver to arrange for his/her normal agents to remove and sell the food stock.
See paragraph 31.6.57 for advice on dealing with alcoholic drinks.
A stock of alcoholic drinks (beer, lager, wines, spirits, etc.) held as stock by a public house (often known as ‘wet stock’) is likely to be held on a sale or return basis (see Chapter 63) and will not be an asset in the insolvent estate.
If the drinks are not held on a sale or return basis, the official receiver may instruct his/her normal agents to sell the drinks provided they are licensed to do so [note 46]. If they are not so licensed, they may be able to suggest an agent who is.
Guidance on dealing with pet animals held as stock in the initial stages of the case is given in paragraphs of Chapter 8.
It is possible that the official receiver’s normal agents will be able to assist in the sale of pet animals. If not, they may be able to suggest a specialist agent.
Before formally instructing agents, the official receiver should ask the agent for an estimate of the value of the animals and his/her likely fees in dealing with the sale. Only if there is likely to be a realisable value should the official receiver proceed with the instruction. In reaching this decision, the official receiver will need to take into account the costs of housing and feeding the animals in the period leading up to the sale (see paragraph 31.6.58). In this, it is accepted that the official receiver may need to outlay monies to pay for an inspection of the animals by the agent.
Where the animals have no realisable value the guidance in paragraph 31.6.61 should be followed.
Where the official receiver is advised that the animals have no realisable value they should be offered to a reputable animal charity such as the RSPCA, Blue Cross, PDSA, Dogs Trust. There may also be local or specialist sanctuaries that would be prepared to take on the animals. Alternatively, another local pet shop may be prepared to take the animals.
If it is not possible to dispose of the animals in this way, the advice of Technical Section should be sought as it is possible that he official receiver will have to arrange for them to be destroyed at the expense of the estate, as a disclaimer is unlikely to be appropriate (see paragraph 31.6.62).
Due to the requirements of the animal welfare legislation to, amongst other things, house, protect and feed animals appropriately [note 47] [note 48] [note 49] [note 50], it is extremely unlikely to ever be appropriate to disclaim an interest in pet animals.
A disclaimer should be issued if requested by an animal welfare organisation (see paragraph 31.6.61), where it might be required to allow them to take possession of the animals.
The official receiver may encounter stock animals other than pets or farm livestock. Examples may be breeders of race horses or greyhounds or breeders of animals for the food of other animals.
Without going into detail here, the general principles as to how these animals should be dealt with would be the same as for pet animals (see paragraphs 31.6.60 to 31.6.62) – i.e., they should be sold if they have a value and, if not, they should be re-homed or destroyed.
There are no special regulations regarding the sale of flowers, but the shelf life of flowers is, naturally, limited. Unless the official receiver’s agents can suggest an avenue by which the flowers may be disposed of in bulk (perhaps, to a wholesaler), the official receiver may consider selling the flowers to another florist in the area or, even, attempting to sell the flowers to members of the public passing the business premises.
In dealing with flowers, the official receiver should attempt to establish if any of the flowers are special orders (for funerals or weddings, etc) that have not yet been paid for and, if so, attempt to contact the customer to arrange for payment and collection. Flowers ordered to be made up into wreathes or bouquets, etc. may be considered to be work in progress and the advice in Part 3 may be followed.
It should be possible for flowers to be disposed of through the normal local authority refuse collection system used by the business.
If it is not possible to dispose of the flowers through the normal refuse disposal system, the flowers should be disclaimed (see Chapter 34) with the notice of disclaimer being served on the local environmental health department and the landlord. A disclaimer should not be issued if the official receiver is retaining the business premises as an asset of the estate and, instead, a contractor should be employed to dispose of the flowers. It is likely that the local environmental health officer will be able to suggest a suitable contractor.
In brief, a bonded warehouse (also known as a customs warehouse) is a warehouse in which are stored goods that have been imported into this country from outside the EU and which it is intended will be exported to another country outside the EU without entering the UK market. The advantage for a trader of using a bonded warehouse is that duty or import-VAT is not payable on the goods imported to the UK, unless (until) they enter the UK market.
Such warehouses are tightly regulated and if the insolvent has goods in one it is likely that the assistance of the warehouse keeper and/or HMRC will be required to have the goods released for sale. If the goods are to be sold within the UK it will be necessary for the official receiver’s agent to deal with the relevant VAT/duty implications.
See paragraph 59.44D for more information on bonded warehouses.
This paragraph deals only with firearms held as stock. Firearms held personally by the bankrupt are dealt with in Chapter 31.10.
Advice and information on dealing with firearms (including illegally held firearms) when first encountered by the official receiver is contained in paragraph 8.84).
It is an offence to be in possession of a firearm without the necessary certificate [note 51] and the dealing in firearms is controlled by the local police force [note 52]. Apart from the obligation to hold a certificate, there are a number of other regulations surrounding the transfer of firearms, particularly as regards record keeping [note 53] and the official receiver should ensure that any agents appointed to sell the firearms are registered firearms dealers. The website of The Gun Trade Association Ltd (http://www.gtaltd.co.uk/) carries a list of registered firearms dealers, searchable by name and location.
If there is any doubt when dealing with a firearm, the advice of the local police firearms liaison officer should be sought.
There are restrictions on the sale of certain items that are, or may be used as, offensive weapons, such as knives, swords or crossbows [note 54] [note 55]. Such restrictions generally relate to a minimum age of the buyer of the item.
Some items (such as flick-knives or similar) are banned for sale entirely [note 56].
The official receiver’s agents are likely to be aware of the various restrictions but, where there is doubt, this should be confirmed.
When dealing with a stock of collectibles (such as comics, toys, etc.), antiques or works of art, the official receiver should consider whether the employment of a specialist agent may result in a better return to creditors that using his/her normal agents.
So far as concerns items of this type (particularly works of art), the official receiver should ensure that the insolvent is not merely acting as an agent for the owner of the items(s) in the shop premises.
The following trade associations may be able to assist in locating a specialist agent:
Around two-thirds of the 9,500 petrol stations in the UK are independent of either the major fuel companies or the major supermarkets. Where the official receiver is dealing with an insolvency order against such a business, the advice in paragraph 8.86 should be followed, with the official receiver’s agents being instructed to liaise with the supplier over the return of the fuel and any refund for the fuel returned (a typical station’s tank of fuel being capable of holding around £30,000 worth of fuel at cost price).
Where the station is licensed, rented, etc. to the insolvent by a third party (probably, one of the major oil companies), the official receiver (or his/her agents) should liaise with the landlord over the return of the fuel or the site – ensuring that payment is received where the fuel has not been supplied on a sale or return (or retention of title) basis (see Chapter 63). The official receiver should seek guidance from the fuel supplier in this regard, as it may be better that the fuel is sold in-situ, for safety reasons.
The official receiver may encounter a supplier of heating oil and it is likely that the original supplier of the fuel will be the best avenue to realise the fuel.
Due to the various regulations regarding the sale of fuel (relating to health and safety, licensing, consumer protection and excise [note 57] [note 58] [note 59] [note 60] [note 61] [note 62] [note 63]), the official receiver should not attempt to sell fuel to consumers/end users.
A stock of motor vehicles may be sold by the official receiver’s normal agents, taking into account the general principles outlined in Part 3 of Chapter 31.2.
Guidance on dealing with a vehicle as property of an insolvent is provided Chapter 31.2.
Scrap metal is a hazardous product and land that has been used for storing or processing scrap metal may be contaminated land (see Chapter 82 Environmental Legislation for information on how to deal with the land). Any area used for storing scrap cars is considered contaminated, as battery and engine fluids may be present. Only a licensed scrap metal dealer can deal with the scrap metal [note 64] so specialist agents may be required for the disposal of any stock.