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Red Diesel consultation - closing date 9 September 2019

There's an important consultation that individual boaters need to respond to, closing date 9 September 2019. How the directive is implemented will affect all of us - from how much we pay for fuel for our boats to whether (and how) we are obliged to flush our existing fuel tanks. PLEASE, PLEASE COMPLETE THE CONSULTATION - this is a numbers game, we ALL need to respond.

Here is the consultation document:…/Implementation_o…

There does not appear to be an on-line questionnaire to complete, boaters should email or write to the contact details below by 9 September 2019

E-mail to 

By post to:

Gary Satchell
Excise & Environmental Taxes Design Team
H & Customs
Room 3/36, 100 Parliament Street

This text from C&RT's Boaters' Update explains the background:

“Red diesel consultation - Before explaining how we’re responding, and why we think you should too, it might be best to quickly summarise what the consultation is about and why it’s important for boaters.

Red diesel is different from the diesel you use to power your car in two ways. Firstly, it is actually dyed red. Secondly, and more significantly, it’s taxed at a lower rate than ‘white’ diesel – the stuff you put in your car.

HMRC had enabled the use of red diesel for heating and in a range of industries from agriculture and construction (but not if the vehicle is driven on public roads) through to, importantly for boaters, the marine industry.

But, as far back as 2011 the European Commission (EC) said that it would challenge the use of red diesel in the marine industry because some of the diesel is used for the propulsion of private pleasure craft. The Government challenged this stance as it felt it had devised a pragmatic scheme of allowing private pleasure craft to continue to use red diesel for propulsion but required their fuel supplier to collect from the craft operator the difference in duty between the red and white diesel rates and pay the additional duty to HM Revenue and Customs.

The EC’s challenge, which ended up in the Court of Justice of the European Union in October 2018, was ultimately successful on the basis that the UK’s position makes it impossible for regulators to know if red diesel is being used legally or not (this is especially a problem for craft moving to / from other EU countries where the rules are different). This consultation outlines how the Government intends to implement the judgment by requiring private pleasure craft to use white diesel for propulsion and seeks evidence regarding the impact this will have on users of diesel propelled craft operating in UK inland waterways (and along the coast).

From discussions with the Department for Transport it is important to note that this is only an early stage in the process – they have no choice at present on whether to implement or not, but the means of implementation is not yet fixed – which is why they want information on the impacts of the proposals and would also welcome thoughts on how these impacts could be reduced. This is why we encourage you to respond to the consultation.

From the Trust’s perspective, while it is for Government to set tax and duty rates, we would want to see changes implemented in a way which does not disadvantage boaters when compared to other similar groups (why should you have to pay more than a householder for using fuel oil for domestic power and heating?). We would also want to see measures implemented in a way that is practical and affordable.

To help with our response, we’ve come up with some supplementary questions we’d like to hear from you on, if you could take the time to answer our survey on this link.

We’ll use what you tell us in our own response but, to give the Government the best possible evidence base, we strongly encourage boaters to write in to DfT and set out what impact this will have.

The full consultation document, along with how to respond, is online. Responses need to be sent in before 9 September.”  Text copied from C&RT's Boaters' Update 9 August 2019.