Government will not make overseas use illegal


HMRC has confirmed that using UK-bought red diesel outside British waters will not become illegal.

The government will change its proposed adjustment to the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act, after a meeting with the RYA and the BMF this morning.

It had planned to make sailors buying red diesel from April 1 sign to say it will only be used in UK waters, but the declaration will now be a reminder that other countries can apply their rules to boats in their waters.

The RYA’s head of government affairs, Gus Lewis, met with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officials and BMF executive director, Howard Pridding, today.

Mr Lewis said: ‘The proposed revised wording for the declaration was unacceptable and we are pleased that HMRC has recognised our serious concerns.

‘We have proposed to HMRC alternative wording that we believe would avoid boaters having to acknowledge falsely that they are aware of restrictions on fuel usage that do not exist.’

Mr Pridding said he hoped the ‘HMRC’s efforts on this issue will assuage the European Commission’s concerns and end the infraction proceedings’.

The European Commission has referred the matter to the European Court of Justice, because it believes the availability of marked diesel in the UK infringes EU law.

The government’s consultation on the legislation closes on March 11. The RYA is ‘assured that HMRC will consider all responses submitted’.

The declaration should be confirmed in the Budget Statement on the March 21 and the subsequent Finance Act.

Ten days left to speak out on red diesel.

RYA: Using red diesel in foreign waters will not be unlawful.

Red diesel to be legal only in British waters.