Island's governing body backs down on plans for marine fuel duty

The States of Jersey has announced that fuel duty for marine pleasure craft will not be introduced into next year’s Budget. The announcement follows a public consultation and lobbying from local and national bodies.

The island’s government considered taxing pleasure craft fuel to recoup a reported £666,000 that its duty-free status granted in tax relief last year. The proposed changes – which would have meant marine petrol prices rising from 61p to £1 per litre, and diesel from 53p to over 90p per litre – had local boat owners up in arms.

Chairman of St Helier Boat Association Mike Stevens said that the island would suffer hugely if the changes went ahead: ‘if fuel prices rise, the island will effectively be closed for business. People will not come here, fill up, stay in our marinas or eat in our restaurants… the knock-on effect will be colossal.’

Results of a Customs and Excise consultation on the taxation carried out earlier this summer have now resulted in the proposed tax being scrapped. Jersey States Senator Terry Le Sueur acknowledged: ‘It is clear that there are wider economic implications when considering the potential impact of introducing duty on marine fuel.’