RYA warning to yachtsmen

Flemish wriggling over red diesel does not change the fact that the Belgian Government insist the UK is acting illegally by allowing leisure craft to use dyed fuel.

And this in turn could still lead to UK yachtsmen who visit Belgian ports with red diesel in their tanks being fined, says Gus Lewis legal expert of the RYA.

‘It’s an unofficial easing up of control measures,’ said Mr Lewis of Belgian Finance Minister, Koen Greens advice that visiting British leisure craft can use red diesel in Belgian waters subject to conditions.

‘The law hasn’t changed. It is still unlawful to use red diesel in Belgian waters, but in practice the risk of being fined is reduced but not eliminated. It does not go as far as we would like. Both the French and Dutch have given blanket approval of red diesel’s use as long as proof of duty has been paid, but the Belgians have not.’

And as long as that remains the case there ill be many UK yachtsmen who will not take the risk of entering Belgian ports.