The European Commission (EC) has decided to refer the United Kingdom to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). According to the EC the UK is not properly applying the rules on fiscal marking on fuel.  

Stuart Carruthers RYA Cruising Manager "What has happened now is that the ongoing dispute on whether the use of duty-paid marked 'red' diesel for propelling private pleasure craft amounts to 'improper use' for the purposes of Article 3 of the Marking Directive is finally to be referred by the EC to the ECJ.  

"This is the culmination of the ongoing infringement proceedings between the UK Government and the Commission over the UK's use of marked 'red' fuel".  

"These proceedings have been confidential and at this point we do not know what Government's reaction to the EC's decision is".  

The RYA advises anyone going abroad to:  

  • Keep receipts for diesel purchased in the UK, to prove that it was bought in the UK, and request that your retailer marks them "duty paid"
  • You should also log the date of refuelling and engine hours to reinforce these records  
  •  Do not carry red diesel anywhere other than in their craft's main fuel storage tanks; 
  • Do not purchase red diesel in a country where the purchasing of rebated fuel by leisure craft is prohibited by law  

Specific advice on using red diesel in France, the Netherlands and Belgium.