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Red Diesel (Private Pleasure Craft)

Volume 540: debated on Monday 20 February 2012

I am today announcing that from 1 April 2012 the use of red diesel to propel private pleasure craft will be allowed only within United Kingdom waters.

From 1 April anyone purchasing red diesel for use as fuel for propelling private pleasure craft will be required to make a declaration that the fuel will be used only within UK waters. The declaration will include an acknowledgement that the UK procedures do not affect any restrictions or prohibitions under the national laws of other European member states regarding fuel used for propelling private pleasure craft.

These changes are being made following a challenge by the European Commission to the UK practice of allowing marked red diesel with full duty paid in private pleasure craft.

The changes announced today will ensure that red diesel can continue to be used in UK coastal waters and on the UK’s inland waterways in accordance with current procedures to the benefit of suppliers and users. It also ensures that users can continue to use red diesel at the rebated rate of duty on fuel used on board for domestic purposes, such as heating and cooking.

HMRC have published the draft legislation on the HMRC website today.