RYA advice issued for boat owners cruising abroad on fuel purchased in the UK

Red diesel bought in the UK is allowed to be used elsewhere in the EU, as long as it is in your normal fuel tank, according to EU officials.

Problems using Red diesel abroad hit the headlines last summer as several PBO readers were stopped in ports across the Channel and fined for using derogated fuel, despite having proof that they had purchased the fuel legally in the UK.

Latest guidance
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has published further guidance for boat owners in the run up to the end of derogated red diesel on 1 November.

From this date, yachtsmen will have to declare what proportion of their fuel purchase is to be used for propulsion and pay the full road duty (54p per litre) on that amount.

The remainder is considered domestic fuel and will attract a much lower rate of duty (around 10p per litre).

Red diesel abroad
AS part of this advice, the RYA has sought assurances from EU officials concerning yachts holding red diesel bought in the UK, which have been published on the RYA website

The statement reads as follows:

The EU Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs has confirmed the following:

“According to the Community excise legislation and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice, in case of fuel transported in the normal fuel storage tank, the excise duty is chargeable in the Member State of acquisition according to the national rules. It falls upon the Commission to enforce the compliance of national legislation with Community law; and

People can acquire red diesel in the UK and use it legally in another member state of the European Union, if transported in the normal fuel storage tank.

The EU Directorate-General for Communication has indicated that the onus of proving that full duty has been paid remains strictly with the purchaser.

The RYA recommends that recreational boaters visiting other EU member states:-
· Keep receipts for diesel purchased in the UK, to prove that it was bought in the UK, and ideally log the date of refuelling and engine hours to reinforce these records

· Do not carry red diesel anywhere other than in their 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

For any further queries, contact: legal@rya.org.uk or tel: 0845 3450373 .