UK to Challenge European Commission Over Red Diesel

Issue date: 5th August 2013

On 24th July, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs indicated that the UK Government intends to challenge the Reasoned Opinion issued by the European Commission in May. A challenge, which is supported by IWA.

The Reasoned Opinion was issued by the Commission in support of its formal request that the United Kingdom amend its legislation “to ensure that private pleasure boats such as luxury yachts can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats”.  Making the use of white diesel compulsory for leisure boaters would have a number of consequences for both boaters and fuel suppliers. IWA is concerned at the costs to boaters having to change their equipment to enable them to use white diesel as well as the cost to fuel suppliers in having to install a new or second tank and pump in order to supply white diesel.

IWA considers that it is simply not practical for most boats that use the inland waterways to have two tanks – one for red diesel and one for white; that inappropriate modifications would raise safety concerns; and that many diesel suppliers would not supply both red and white diesel.

More information regarding IWA’s views on the current issues surrounding the use of red diesel by boaters can be found in the IWA briefing note.