The UK’s Cruising Association (CA) says it has confirmed with HM Revenue & Customs that it is their intention to legislate that dyed or ‘red’ diesel can only be used for agriculture, railways and non-commercial heating from April 2022.
This move would be in line with EU regulations and follows Ireland’s own ban on green diesel use for leisure boating that came into force at the start of this year.
The CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS) also confirms that the duty on standard white diesel for boats will be the same as the full rate paid on white road diesel in the UK.
This means that the present so called '60/40' fuel duty split will disappear — but commercial vessels, such as fishing boats, will still be able to claim a rebate on the full rate through their Marine Voyages Relief scheme.
But the HMRC says it is exploring the possibility of introducing a scheme that allows private pleasure craft to pay only the current lower rate for red diesel non-propulsion uses.
The CA says it “welcomes the clarification on the use of white diesel which should make it more conveniently available throughout the United Kingdom from marinas and ports as they will have to supply all marine vessels with one colour of diesel”.
The “bonus” of such a situation would be that boaters fulfil the SOLAS V regulations for sea voyages and “no longer have the concern of the presence of red diesel in their tanks when visiting EU maritime states”.
A public consultation will deal all issues involved in the proposed legislative change but there is no timetable for this amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson for the CA’s RATS group says private pleasure craft from the UK should continue to legally use red diesel as they currently do, since it is still the only easily available diesel fuel at home marinas. The CA’s current advice on using dyed diesel wen visiting the EU is available HERE.