RYA and BMF fight for boaters' rights in new saga

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HM Revenue & Customs’ recent statement (20 February) on the continued use of marked ‘red’

diesel outside UK waters, has led to a thorough investigation by the RYA and

BMF. 

According to the RYA’s Head of Government

Affairs, Gus Lewis, the crux of the issue relates to HMRC’s proposed

declaration that boaters are required to make when buying red diesel in the UK.

The RYA and the BMF sought to clarify the

Government’s intentions over this declaration and to propose alternative

wording that simply reminds recreational boaters that other coastal states may

apply their own legislation to vessels navigating in their territorial waters.

The latest April issue of MBM, on sale on

Thursday 15 March, will include the latest report on the red diesel situation.

To subscribe to MBM click here.

In the meantime, we are currently awaiting

news of the outcome of a meeting to be held in the next couple of weeks about

the rewording of the legislation and the declaration that boat users will make

at the time of purchase. The RYA and BMF are confident that their concerns over

the proposed declaration will be addressed when the consultation has closed.

In a statement from the RYA, the RYA and

BMF, “can now report that HMRC has confirmed that the Government has no

intention to make it unlawful for red diesel bought in the UK to be used

outside UK territorial waters.”

Gus Lewis commented, “The proposed revised

wording for the declaration was unacceptable and we are pleased that HMRC has

recognised our serious concerns. We have proposed to HMRC alternative wording

that we believe would avoid boaters having to acknowledge falsely that they are

aware of restrictions on fuel usage that do not exist.”