Red tape means 'it's not worth the hassle'

A Falmouth fuel barge has confirmed this week that it will no longer supply diesel fuel to leisure craft. Falmouth Oil Services (FOS) claims that government legislation regarding increased duty on red diesel has made it too much hassle for it to supply fuel to leisure craft.

FOS Terminal manager Paul Denmead told the Falmouth Packet: “The decision to cease supplying diesel to leisure craft comes into force this week. After HM Revenue and Customs introduced the new legislation it really is not worth our while supplying leisure users – it is just too much hassle for us.”

Under the new government scheme, diesel used for propulsion is taxed at the full rate, while that used for onboard heating is sold at a lower rate. Boat owners must declare to the supplier what proportion of their fuel is being used for heating and propulsion. The recommended default is a 60/40 split.

There are still plenty of other places to refuel in Falmouth Harbour, including the Harbour Commissioners’ barge off Custom House Quay and a number of marinas.

Graeme Bissett, who runs the website told PBO that the new duty regime had not affected the number of marine leisure fuel suppliers significantly. ‘One or two community suppliers in Scotland were considering calling it a day at the end of summer 2008,’ he said. ‘But that was more to do with the decline in the fishing fleets there rather than the new HMRC regulations.’