Sub-menu Navigation


RYA Northern Ireland engages positively to promote and protect recreational boating within Northern Ireland while working alongside local Government departments, Local Authorities and other relevant stakeholders.

The RYA provides a range of practical advice and experience across the boating world. Further topics on a UK level are available in the Knowledge and Advice section of the RYA website

.If you have any queries about these items or have information you think we should know about please email

If you have any queries about these items or have information you think we should know about please email

Outcomes of Red Diesel Consultation (March 2021)

Publication of the outcomes to the HM Treasury Red Diesel Consultation on 3rd March 2021 outlined that Northern Ireland would be changing to white diesel use for private craft from June 2021.T

This immediately raised concerns for local boaters in Northern Ireland and a number of clarifications have been sought with HM Treasury and HMRC on the implementation of this.   RYANI has also written to the DAERA Minister, highlighting the issue.

RYA Northern Ireland welcomes a number of subsequent clarifications from HM Treasury on the changes that are addressed in our FAQ document.

In summary:

  • The government outlined it is legally committed to the change as a result of Article 8 of the Northern Ireland Protocol which covers EU excise directive.  The decision relates to the sale of diesel in Northern Ireland where only white will be allowed for the purposes of propulsion of private pleasure craft.
  • Officials have clarified that red diesel already in boat tanks at the time of prohibition will be able to be used without penalty. Recreational craft from Northern Ireland visiting Great Britain in the future will also be able to purchase red diesel under the terms of the Istanbul Convention which will allow fuel legitimately purchased in Great Britain to be taken back to Northern Ireland in the main fuel tanks of a boat.
  • RYA Northern Ireland welcomes that there will be a new duty relief scheme in place to help avoid disproportionately penalising Northern Ireland boaters - details of this scheme are to follow.
  • The availability of white diesel at waterside remains a concern, with fuel suppliers having to take commercial decisions about the cost of infrastructure changes to be able to supply white.

Updated information will be provided as soon as details are available.

Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol

Immediately following the 2016 EU Referendum, the RYA started to assess the issues and implications for the recreational boating sector arising out of Brexit. It became clear that there would be complex customs and VAT implications for some boat owners, travel implications and the late publication of the NI Protocol continues to take time to assess and seek clarity on specific issues.

The RYA has pursued a programme of representational activity to continually engage with politicians and Government officials to try to get answers to the great many questions raised by members and the many stakeholders that we represent. The RYA dedicated Brexit Page overviews the work that the RYA has been doing to bring clarity and details the current RYA position on each issue.

RYA Northern Ireland has set up a dedicated working group, working with the RYA Current Affairs Department and raising issues with local government Departments and Ministers on reas of concern. 

The Northern Ireland Protocol has raised a number of key issues including the following:

VAT Status of boats positioned in NI at 2300 on 31 December 2020;

HMRC is aware of the RYA’s concerns and has undertaken to provide this information as soon as possible. The RYA will continue to seek clarity until the situation for boats which were lying in Northern Ireland at the end of the transition period is fully understood and clarification on the procedures for boat movements, with Northern Ireland as the departure point or the destination, has been received. Movement of pets from GB to NI.

Latest updates on this can be found at the RYA Brexit what happens next page..

The movement of pets from GB to NI

Pets arriving in Northern Ireland need to enter through a designated travellers’ point of entry (TPE). There are  also changes to how you prepare your pet for travel and the documentation you will need.  Full information is available on the RYA's Travelling with pets page

The RYANI has engaged with DAERA on the issues this presents.

RYANI Guidance for travel in Common Travel Area and EU Countries

RYANI has developed Guidance for travelling within the Common Travel Area and EU countries. The guidance is not an exhaustive list and is designed to cover areas and signpost to information we believe are most relevant to sailors including:
- Driving in the Republic of Ireland & mainland Europe. 
- Vehicle Requirements.
- Boats/ equipment.
- Passport validity. 
-  EHIC/ Health Insurance.

Individuals should check the latest and most relevant information for their travel within Ireland or other EU States.


RYANI is engaged in consultations with local stakeholders and authorities on areas that may impact local boating.   Latest consultations include:

Useful Links