RYA tell Europe: 'Back off'

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.

Now the European Commission has told the RYA it is opening ‘infringement proceedings’ against the UK regarding the EU Marking Directive which relates to the continued availability in the UK of red diesel for use in private pleasure craft.

The RYA fear that in areas where only red diesel is available for fishermen, like in may parts of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the yachtsman will fear filling up his tanks and therefore run into problems at sea.

The RYA’s Gus Lewis, Head of Government Affairs, told Yachting Monthly: ‘They should not be taking this out on the individual yachtsman, it is not what the directive says, this is a Government matter.’