Visiting British leisure craft can now use red diesel in Belgian waters subject to conditions

The Belgian Finance Minister Koen Greens has advised that visiting

British leisure craft can use red diesel in Belgian waters subject to


The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) says the advice was contained in a letter to the General President of the Flemish Watersports Association (VZW) in Nieuwpoort.

The Minister states that any inspections carried out by the General

Administration of Customs and Excise must be undertaken with due

consideration that white diesel is not available to British leisure

craft and that they must therefore ‘adopt a pragmatic approach’.

The Minister further says that British leisure craft will be able to

visit Belgium with red diesel in their tanks provided that they are able

to present documents to demonstrate that excise duties have been paid

in the UK and that these documents are no older than one year dating

from the date of the inspection.

This arrangement is similar to the approach taken by other EU member

states. However, the Minister’s letter indicates that this arrangement

may change after 31 October 2014.

The RYA recommends that recreational boaters visiting EU member states:-

  • Keep receipts for diesel purchased in the UK, to prove that it

    was bought in the UK, and request that the retailer marks them “duty

  • Log the date of refuelling and engine hours to reinforce these records.      
  • Do not carry red diesel anywhere other than in the 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.

Click here for more advice on using red diesel abroad