Government backs down
The Belgian Finance Minister, Koen Greens has advised that visiting British leisure craft can use red diesel in Belgian waters subject to conditions, reports the RYA.
The advice was contained in a letter to the General President of the Flemish Watersports Association (VZW) in Nieuwpoort.
The Minister states that any inspections carried out by the General Administration of Customs and Excise must be undertaken with due consideration that white diesel is not available to British leisure craft and that they must therefore ‘adopt a pragmatic approach’.
The Minister further says that British leisure craft will be able to visit Belgium with red diesel in their tanks provided that they are able to present documents to demonstrate that excise duties have been paid in the UK and that these documents are no older than one year dating from the date of the inspection.
This arrangement is similar to the approach taken by other EU member states. However, the Minister’s letter indicates that this arrangement may change after 31 October 2014.
In general the RYA recommends that recreational boaters visiting EU member states:-
Keep receipts for diesel purchased in the UK, to prove that it was bought in the UK, and request that the retailer marks them “duty paid”.
Log the date of refuelling and engine hours to reinforce these records.
Do not carry red diesel anywhere other than in the craft’s main fuel storage tanks.