White diesel supply is improving around the Irish coast, with marinas at Kilmore Quay and Kilrush the latest to switch their pumps, writes Gail McAllister.
In particular, this provides a welcome source of fuel midway between Dun Laoghaire and Cork, at a strategically placed harbour which is a key landfall port.
Lawrence Cove Marina has recently announced that it will provide white diesel in cans in 2020. White diesel will also be available in cans at Dingle and Carlingford.
Howth and Dun Laoghaire marinas, at least two at Crosshaven, and at least one in Kinsale will have white diesel available from their pumps.
Oil suppliers at Castletownbere, Bantry and Dingle will have white diesel available by tanker on the same basis as they used to supply green — in modest quantities and at relatively short notice.
Leisure boaters who still have green diesel in their tanks from last year have been given some reprieve by the Revenue Commissioners “on an operational basis”, though it is expected that “such residue will be used up very quickly”.
This may raise concerns over Revenue’s understanding of how leisure craft are used and refuelled as opposed to road vehicles.
In order to protect against any possible future prosecution for misuse of green diesel, leisure sailors are advised to pay the additional excise duty on green diesel purchases made in 2019 before the deadline of Sunday 1 March.
This can be done by completing form PPN1, available on revenue.ie (search on the site for ‘form PPN1’ or ‘private pleasure navigation’), giving details of the fuel source and quantity (receipts from suppliers not required). The current rate of tax is 47.9c per litre.
The easiest way to pay the tax and get a receipt is to use the Revenue Online Service (ROS). Find a page with ‘Marked Gas Oil tax’, pay by bank transfer, take a screenshot or save a PDF of the payment page, print it and keep a copy aboard the boat.
Be sure to measure your current tank contents, and keep a log of your engine hours, diesel consumption and purchases. And of course buy only white diesel; quayside suppliers and tankers will, in any case, refuse to put green diesel in the tank of a leisure vessel.
In the event that your tank is dipped by Customs and you are accused of using green diesel when in fact what you have is a mixture, insist on a quantitative measurement of the mix. They can do this easily by measuring the concentration of a marker called Accutrace, which is added to green diesel along with the dye.
If you have diesel in your tank from another jurisdiction, such as red from the UK, it is considered very unlikely that Customs will be concerned. Tax-paid diesel from Spain (Gasoleo A) is faintly green in colour, but apart from that, nobody else in Europe uses a green dye.
Thanks goes to Irish Sailing’s Cruising and Representation Policy Group representative, Norman Kean of ICC Publications, for his diligent research into this subject.