As part of the Spring Budget announcement, the UK Government stated that
it is not changing the treatment of private pleasure craft in Great Britain.
They will continue to be able to use red diesel and pay their fuel supplier the
difference between the red diesel rate and the white diesel rate on the
proportion they intend to use for propulsion.
However, in Northern Ireland recreational boaters will no longer be able
to use red diesel for propelling their craft and will need to use white diesel
from June onwards.
government response to the consultation outlines: “In Northern Ireland, private
pleasure craft users will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling
their craft. This will achieve consistency with the 2018 judgment by the Court
of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and ensure the UK meets its
international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal
will also align with fuel used by private pleasure craft in the Republic of
Ireland, which should make it simpler for private pleasure craft users to
access the fuel they need if they sail between Northern Ireland and the
Republic of Ireland (and vice versa).”
The RYA Northern Ireland, is seeking clarity on these changes. Richard
Honeyford, Chief Operating Office for RYA Northern Ireland, explains: “While
the rationale to keep private pleasure craft in line with commercial
entitlements has been taken in Great Britain, the same rationale does not
appear to have been applied in Northern Ireland.
will provide a number of immediate challenges across both inland and coastal
waterways, where there is little or no waterside infrastructure currently in
place in order to supply white diesel to recreational craft. At the moment,
there are pumps for red diesel; to change this will take time and expense in order to develop an adequate and accessible supply within the given timeframes.”
adds: “RYA Northern Ireland is also asking for clarification on how the new
rules may be regulated. We welcome some
indications on how HMRC would view any ‘run off’ of red diesel in tanks. With
current lockdown restrictions, many boat owners have filled their tanks with
red diesel and this needs considered to
avoid boat owners becoming inadvertently caught out by these changes.
private boat owners also cruise to Great Britain, where only red diesel will be available.
We will need clarity around how any craft entering or returning to Northern Ireland with red diesel in their tanks will be considered."
RYANI welcomes that there will be a new relief scheme in place to help avoid
disproportionately penalising NI boaters, however, details of this scheme are yet to be published. RYANI's current advice to boat owners is to retain all receipts, including VAT, in
relation to the purchase of red diesel up to any changeover date, and then any
subsequent receipts proving the purchase of white diesel.
and RYA Northern Ireland have requested a meeting with HMRC to outline these
concerns and seek further clarification.