Red Diesel Fiasco – Little Ship Club

From: “Little Ship Club – Commodore” <commodore [at] littleshipclub [dot] co [dot] uk>
Date: 1 March 2012 06:00:34 GMT
Subject: Red diesel fiasco – sign the Little Ship Club petition
Reply-To: “Little Ship Club – Commodore” <commodore [at] littleshipclub [dot] co [dot] uk>

Dear Member,

You may well have seen the piece on our website concerning red diesel, if not I think it is important that you do read it.

HMRC are proposing that from 1st April this year all skippers of UK leisure craft will be asked to sign a declaration, when filling their diesel tanks, to the effect that they will not use the fuel outside UK waters.

I probably don’t need to tell you how ridiculous such a proposal is and how impractical it is. This means, for instance, that if you fill your tanks in June and still have any of that red diesel left in them the following May, when you plan that quick dash to buy wine in Cherbourg, you will be breaking the law.

The fact that it is almost impossible to buy un-dyed diesel in any UK marina seems to have escaped HMRC.

This directive seems to be a nod in the direction of the Belgian authorities who have made it illegal for any vessel to carry dyed diesel in their tanks in Belgian waters.

The Club has set up an online petition which is gathering momentum. We reached 241 signatures when I checked today, but we’d like to reach 3,000 signatures by the consultation closing date of 11 March. If you haven’t signed it already, please do so now.

(Ask your sailing friends to sign too, by cutting and pasting the link to the petition into an email and sending it to them:

I strongly urge you to write to your MP and your MEP and to encourage any of your crew or sailing friends to do likewise. We simply cannot accept this sort of silly bureaucracy to blight our legitimate pursuit of our leisure activity.

Sign the petition and write to your MP today!

Best regards,

David Roache
Commodore, Little Ship Club


Further information

When you write to your MP using Write To Them, the key points to make are:

  • the HMRC proposals are unworkable as red diesel is the only fuel available at UK marinas
  • UK yachtsmen should not have to declare legally purchased red diesel will only be used in UK waters
  • the UK government should be challenging the European Parliament which gave a derogation to UK pleasure craft users to allow the use of red diesel for propulsion of their craft.