The RYA had objected in the strongest terms to Government’s original amendments published at the end of February 2012 and made it clear that restricting the use of marked ‘red’ diesel to UK waters would not be acceptable. Gus Lewis, Head of Government Affairs, explains: “The wording in the revised declaration is now clear that no change has been made to the ability of UK boaters to use red diesel when cruising or racing outside UK territorial waters. UK fiscal law only applies within UK territorial waters and the UK laws covering the use of red diesel therefore also only apply in UK waters. In international waters, recreational boaters are not subject to any restrictions on the use of red diesel.

red dieselHMRC has made it clear that the intention behind this amendment is to minimise the risk of a successful legal challenge by the European Commission, which opened infraction proceedings against the UK last July.  The RYA hopes that as a result of the amendment, the Commission will withdraw its infraction proceedings, thereby securing the continued supply of diesel for all recreational boating interests in the UK.

You can find more information on using red diesel abroad at see the RYA advice pages. For more on the RYA’s negotiations on this issue see RYA Current Affairs, you can also read the Government’s announcement relating to this issue.

Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.