BMF & RYA have met with Customs this morning

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On Thursday last week it was announced that UK leisure boaters were to finally lose their permission to use low-duty red diesel.

The European Commission rejected an application to extend a derogation allowing use of the fuel.

The derogation runs out on 1 January 2007.

For our initial story click here 

Today (Monday December 11) the British Marine Federation and Royal Yachting Association met with Revenue and Customs officials to discuss the announcement.

The point of the meeting was to establish that Revenue and Customs understands the marine industry’s need for a lengthy transition period before the price of red diesel is changed.

If the Government imposes full road duty, the price could double to more than £1 per litre, but it is still not entirely clear what the final price will be.

BMF executive director Howard Pridding (pictured) told MBY after the meeting: “The price won’t go up on 1 January. The reality is there will be a period of time in which boaters will continue to benefit from the low duty rate.

“We came away from the meeting content that Customs understands the need for a lengthy transition period.

Mr Pridding was reluctant to put a timescale on matters but envisaged a period of at least six months before the change could be implemented by the Government alone.

There will also be a consultation phase before any action is taken.

He added: “There is great confusion out there and we need to calm some nerves.”