Today, 31 July 2014, the RYA and British Marine Federation (BMF) met with Treasury and HMRC officials to discuss Government’s current position on the continued supply and use of red diesel to private pleasure craft.
Following an announcement by the European Commission - EC to take UK to court over red diesel - confirming their intention to take the UK Government to the European Court of Justice, officials confirmed that the UK Government had not received formal notification of the Commission’s position.
It was expected that formal confirmation would be received within the next few months; the typical time period for such notification is 6-9 months.
In the meantime there is no indication that the Government intends to modify its longstanding supportive stance.
“The crux of the matter is ensuring the continued availability of diesel for the leisure boating community” says Gus Lewis, Head of Legal and Government Affairs at the RYA.
“If the UK is forced to change to white diesel for recreational craft at the waterside suppliers will find it difficult to make the significant investment required to install additional tanks and pumps for white diesel.
“It appears that the Commission’s primary concern relates to the colour of the fuel. Even with the 60:40 spilt UK boaters are paying on average 10% more duty that their French or Belgium counterparts.”
Treasury and HMRC officials confirmed that they will continue to work with the RYA and the BMF as the issue develops.