Boaters will have to pay full duty rate

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The cost of red diesel will rise to more than £1 per litre from 1 November, MBY can confirm.

HM Revenue & Customs are still ironing out some of the details of the change and have still not yet made an official statement.

However the basic terms of the long-awaited price hike are expected to be as follows:

? UK waterside diesel will remain dyed red and will be available from the same pump to leisure and commercial boaters;

? When buying waterside diesel, leisure boaters will have to pay the full rate of duty, 54.68p per litre, if they are using the fuel for propulsion;

? If they are using it for heating purposes or other domestic uses, they will be able to buy it at the rebated rate;

? They will have to declare to the fuel vendor what proportion of each fuel purchase is for propulsion and what proportion is for heating;

? Leisure boaters will have to keep a record of fuel bought;

? The fuel vendor will also keep records of fuel sold and will declare to Customs what duty has been raised;

? Commercial boaters will be allowed to continue using red diesel at the current rebated rate.

Prior to the news, broken today (Tuesday 28 February) by our sister title Motor Boats Monthly , there were suggestions that the UK Government would follow the lead of Ireland, which last month announced its own red diesel measures.

Leisure boaters in Ireland will buy rebated red, then pay back the remaining full duty themselves, before the end of the tax year.

This solution was backed by the RYA and British Marine Federation as a possible way forward for the UK.

The actual measures chosen by HM Revenue & Customs have the same end result – waterside prices brought up to roadside levels or more – but place less responsibility on the boatowner and more on the fuel vendor.

However, there will be an onus on the boat owner to declare fuel usage correctly as it will become a criminal offence for leisure boaters to use rebated red diesel for propulsion.

Customs say it will not be the duty of the fuel vendor to verify a boat owner’s declaration concerning his or her intended use of the fuel.

The RYA and BMF are expected to comment on the developments imminently.