This page is intended to give members some re-assurance
about the European Governments decision not to renew the derogation on
Red Diesel for the UK from the end of this year.
It is intended to stop Private boat owners from using
red diesel and is not intended to adversely affect commercial
If you browse the Customs & Excise website about fuel
duty for use on marine voyages, you will find the following info which
I have copied below for you.
If you want to view HM Customs document in its entirety
You can buy "red diesel" at quaysides, marinas and on inland
waterways. "Red diesel" is gas oil that has been chemically
marked and dyed to show that it has borne a rebated (reduced) rate of
excise duty because it must not be used in road vehicles. Red
diesel is much cheaper than road fuel sold at a garage forecourt, so
we do not expect you to claim for refund of duty on road fuel.
If you do, we may delay repayment of duty on road fuel while we verify
that you did use the oil in your vessel.
you need to know the duty rates you should use to make your claim,
please contact the National Advice Service (the address and telephone
number is shown on the inside cover of this notice).
What is an "eligible vessel"?
"eligible vessel" is any vessel that you use on a marine voyage,
including hovercraft, but not private
pleasure craft. EC legislation (Article 14 (1) (C) of Directive
2003/96/EC) defines "private pleasure craft" as:
"...any craft used by its owner or the natural or legal person who
enjoys its use, either through hire or through any other means, for
other than commercial purposes, and in particular, other than for the
carriage of passengers or goods or for the supply of services for
consideration or for the purposes of public authorities".
So, if you use your vessel for pleasure use, or you hire it out and
the hirer uses it purely for pleasure, you cannot claim relief on the
fuel used for the voyage. However, you can claim relief for fuel used
in pleasure craft in some circumstances and we explain this in more
detail in the following paragraphs.
If your vessel is a commercial vessel and you use it on
a marine voyage then it is an "eligible vessel" and you can claim
For example, if you operate one of the following types of vessel, you
would be eligible to claim relief on the fuel used, as long as you
comply with the other requirements of this notice:
foreign-going commercial vessels;
UK fishing boats;
foreign-owned fishing boats refuelling in the UK;
ferries, lighters, pilot boats, tugs, tenders and other similar
certain safety/rescue vessels - see Section 2.4;
vessels undergoing trials (but not basin or dock trials whilst
stationary, ie not "engaged on a voyage");
passenger vessels used for pleasure trips - see
This list is not exhaustive and you may qualify for relief even if
your vessel is not listed above. If you are in any doubt, please
contact the Mineral Oil Reliefs Centre whose address and telephone
number are on the inside cover of this notice).
Which oils can I claim relief on?
You can claim relief on:
heavy oil, eg gas oil, fuel oil; and
light oil, eg petrol;
So as you can see, whether you burn red diesel, white
diesel, kerosene or even petrol it makes no difference, you just claim
back the extra duty.
Yes admittedly a lot more duty. You will need to
claim more frequently than you do at the present time unless you can
afford to leave large sums of your income sitting in the Customs &
Excise bank account!
Quoted verbatim from the
Professional Boatmen's Association Web Site 28th December 2006