In October 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had failed to fulfil its obligations under Council Directive 95/60/EC on fiscal marking of gas oils.
In effect, following the Court’s ruling, the expectation of the European Commission is that the UK must stop allowing the use of red diesel for the purposes of propulsion of a private pleasure craft and must therefore switch to white diesel.
A consultation was announced in the Spring Statement made in Parliament on 13 March 2019. The following is the relevant extract from the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Written Ministerial Statement: -
Consultation on the use of diesel by private pleasure craft – A consultation seeking evidence on the likely impact of the government’s proposal to require diesel-powered private pleasure craft to only use full duty paid heavy oil (white diesel) for propulsion, replacing the existing system where private pleasure craft use marked gas oil (red diesel) but pay the white diesel rate of fuel duty.
The RYA has been in close dialogue with Government since the ruling of the EU Court was announced in October 2018 and is now liaising with the HMRC officials who are managing the consultation. HMRC have committed to meeting with the RYA and British Marine, the Inland Waterways Association and the Cruising Association in advance of the consultation being launched in early summer.
Boaters should experience no change in respect of their use of red diesel both in the UK and overseas until the UK Government makes changes to existing legislation. The RYA will be lobbying for any new legislation to include a transition period of sufficient length to recognise that changes will need to be made to the supply system and that the marker dye in red diesel will be detectable in boat fuel systems for a considerable period of time after the commencement date of any change to the use of white diesel.
The RYA’s Cruising, Legal and Government Affairs team is analysing the full impact for our 112,000 members and the recreational boating community and will work to ensure the continued availability of diesel for the leisure boating community.
Should you have any difficulties with red diesel abroad, please contact the RYA’s Cruising, Legal and Government Affairs team via firstname.lastname@example.org or 023 8060 4232.
RYA and industry representatives meet HMRC to discuss red diesel situation
Update on Government response to EU ruling … read more
Court of Justice of the European Union rules against HMRC over red diesel
Impact on the availability of red diesel for recreational boating as yet unknown … read more
HMRC lodges defence with the Court of Justice of the European Union over red diesel
Government re-affirms its supportive stance on the availability of red diesel for recreational boating … read more
Controls in Belgium for red diesel remain suspended
Boaters can continue to visit Belgium without fear of fines, for now ... read more
European Commission taking UK to court over red diesel
RYA receives case number from European Commission ... read more
RYA issues latest red diesel update
Representing boaters' interests as Belgian situation develops ... read more
UK boater fined for red diesel in Belgium
Risk remains of fines from Belgian authorities ... read more
RYA to respond to Government's call for evidence on red diesel
Don't miss your chance to contribute to Government's call for evidence ... read more
Reminder for boaters using red diesel abroad
Belgium still a risk for UK boaters using red diesel ... read more
RYA urges local marinas to lobby Belgian Government
Update on the use of "marked" red diesel in private pleasure craft ... read more
RYA meets with Government over latest red diesel development
The crux of the matter is ensuring the continued availability of diesel for the leisure boating community. ... read more
EC to take UK to court over red diesel
Culmination of infringement proceedings over the UK’s use of marked ‘red’ fuel. ... read more
Belgium to tolerate use of red diesel by UK boats
Visiting British leisure craft can use red diesel in Belgian waters subject to conditions. ... read more
UK Government supports recreational boaters over continued use of red diesel
Government intends to challenge the European Commission. ... read more
UK to challenge European Commission over red diesel
RYA and BMF pleased that Government has decided to challenge the Commission's Reasoned Opinion. ... read more
European Commission continues to challenge UK over red diesel
Formal request by European Commission for UK to amend legislation. ... read more
Red diesel: Government recognises RYA objection to amended declaration
Government has confirmed today that it has no intention to make it unlawful for red diesel bought in the UK to be used outside UK territorial waters ... read more
RYA and BMF meet with HMRC to discuss recent red diesel announcement
HMRC confirmed Government has no intention to make it unlawful for red diesel bought in the UK to be used outside UK territorial waters. ... read more
RYA advice on HMRC red diesel announcement
Your questions answered on the recent HMRC red diesel announcement ... read more
RYA challenges HMRC proposals
RYA clear that HMRC proposals present a real problem for recreational boaters. ... read more
RYA challenges Belgian authorities' actions in fining UK boaters
Gus Lewis, Head of Government Affairs, tells us why the RYA is challenging the actions of the Belgian authorities. ... read more
Red Diesel: a game of two halves
A complex issue of semantics and EU law. ... read more
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