Keep up to speed with the latest from the red diesel saga, including news and updates from the RYA, Brussels and the Yachting Monthly team

Red diesel forum

New developments are emerging almost daily in the long-running squabble between Britain and Brussels over the UK’s use of red-dyed diesel in leisure craft. Fierce lobbying efforts are ongoing and the enforcement policy of red diesel bans for foreign-flagged yachts on the Continent is best described as a rather fluid situation. To keep our readers up to date on this important issue, we have created this web page as a ‘one-stop shop’ where you can read about all red diesel developments in one place, as they happen. Keep checking back for regular updates.

These updates are published in chronological order with the most recent updates at the top of this list. If you’d like to learn more about the background of this issue, please click here or follow the link at the bottom of the page. To join the debate, visit our Scuttlebut forum.

March 2012
Budget confirms red diesel use
Yachtsmen can motor on with dyed fuel

Burning red diesel in international waters ‘OK’
Following the RYA’s meeting with HMRC earlier this month the Government has publicly confirmed today that it has no intention to make it unlawful for red diesel bought in the UK to be used outside UK territorial waters.

The Westerly Owners’ Association, which represents over 3000 UK yacht owners, published a statement about red diesel which you can read if you click here.

Government changes wording on red diesel
Promise not to fine users outside Home Waters

Our monthly columnist Tom Cunliffe wrote to his MP outlining the complex issues surrounding red diesel. Tom said he received “a prompt and fairly encouraging response” from the Conservative MP

You can read the text of Tom’s letter by clicking here.

Germany fines red diesel yachtsmen
German Customs are hitting red diesel users with huge fines, according to a report flagged up by a Yachting Monthly forum user.

February 2012
Tips on cleaning fuel tank from YM reader Alan Wilson
One of the implications of outlawing red diesel use is that they dye is so strong you’d need to remove every drop of the diesel and clean your tank completely to avoid being hit with a fine. Reader Alan Wilson emailed us with helpful tips on how you can remove the dye from your tank.

Cross-Channel red diesel use outlawed
All yachtsmen using red diesel outside Home Waters will be breaking European law from April 1st. The Treasury has ruled that dyed diesel can be used by pleasure craft within the UK’s 12 mile territorial limit from that date. Yachtsmen will also have to fill in a declaration form pledging that their voyage will not take them into International Waters.
Click here to download the statement from the HRMC.

July 2011
EU accused of bullying yachtsmen
The RYA say Eurocrats are bullying UK yachtsmen over their use of red diesel for propulsion. Even though the UK Government negotiated a deal which allowed sailors to pay a part tax on 40 per cent of their diesel, used for heating, and the full tax on the other 60 per cent. But this arrangement rankles with the EU which does not want yachtsmen using red diesel for propulsion at all.

Background to red diesel issue

Red diesel forum

The links below will take you to old news stories showing the progression of the red diesel issue. They are listed in chronological order with the older stories at the very bottom of the page. If you want to find out the latest red diesel news, please click here.

Tanked up
Yachtsmen pumping red diesel into their tanks from 1 November 2008 will now only pay VAT of 5 per cent on the whole tank.

Diesel price hike
Diesel invites extra tax: for part of tank

Red Diesel duty set to rise
As the new sailing season approaches, yachtsmen in the UK are looking at a last summer of low-cost red diesel after the Government announced its intention to enforce the full rate of duty for heavy oil.

Budget confirms red diesel’s days are numbered
According to the chancellor’s budget statement last week, duty on fuel used for private pleasure boating or private pleasure flying will, from November 1 2008, ‘no longer benefit from the reduced and exempt rates of duty currently in effect’.

Red Diesel to Stay Until Late 2008
Leisure boaters will be able to use low-duty red diesel until November 2008, the Treasury today announced as part of the Budget.

Red under the engine bed
Price hike fears put in perspective

Red Diesel Update
On Thursday last week it was announced that UK leisure boaters were to lose their ability to use low-duty red diesel. The European Commission rejected an application to extend a derogation allowing use of the fuel. The current derogation runs out on 1 January 2007.

French customs fine red diesel users
French Customs Officers in Avignon are dipping yacht tanks to see if they are burning red diesel and if so are imposing fines.

Cheap diesel for yachtsmen OK’d
Yachtsmen will continue to enjoy cheap red diesel…..for now

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Background to red diesel issue
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