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Red diesel - details announced

The Government has announced how leisure boat fuel will be taxed from November.

The end of the "red diesel" arrangement, whereby boaters can fill up with special low-tax fuel, was announced by the European Commission last year despite heavy lobbying by boating groups.

But according to today's announcement, when the new regime comes into effect on 1st November, the fuel will still be red - just taxed at the full rate. This means boaters will not have to clean tanks and marinas will not have to replace their pumps. The same fuel will be sold at different rates to leisure (full tax) and commercial (low tax) boaters.

In a welcome concession, leisure boaters will also be able to claim a discount to recognise that some fuel is typically used in heating their boats and to charge domestic batteries. This will mean that boaters with diesel heating will not need to fit a second tank. The exact details of this are yet to be worked out.

More details in April's WW (and no, this isn't our April fool!).

Friday 29 February  | Richard Fairhurst  | 2.04pm, Friday 29 February 2008


So if boaters are going to have their fuel taxed at the same rate as road diesel, why should they settle for a lower grade product. 'Red' diesel is 35 sec heating oil which is refined to a lower standard than road diesel, so we might as well use road diesel and reduce the wear and tear on our engines.
Also, what are the marinas supposed to do. Many (including my own) sell a lot of red to non-boaters for legitimate use such as factory heating, garden machinery etc. Where are these people going to get the lower taxed fuel that they are legally entitled to.

Andy Garside  | 3.46PM, Saturday 1 March

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