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No Red Diesel for Northern Ireland Boaters

5th March 2021
Northern Ireland can no longer sell red diesel to ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement following Brexit.
Northern Ireland can no longer sell red diesel to ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement following Brexit.

Northern Ireland recreational boaters will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling their craft.

This is despite the British Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing on Wednesday, as Afloat reported here, that UK sailors will still be able to use red diesel to propel their vessels.

The reason behind the NI omission of course is to ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement following Brexit.

Last year, the UK Government announced it would remove the subsidy on red diesel from April 2022, although boaters would still be able to use subsidised fuel for heating onboard.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, it followed a consultation with the sailing industry and commercial boat owners after a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in October 2018 that the UK wasn't complying with the EU Fuel Directive by allowing leisure vessels to use marked diesel.

Green Diesel Ban

A similar ruling was made against Ireland, which had green diesel. From 1 January 2020, the use of green diesel to solely power pleasure boats was banned.

The U-turn by the Government only applies to recreational boaters in Scotland, Wales and England.

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