In a communication to the Treasury, the European Commission says expiration of red diesel derogation is "important step", but all is not lost

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The campaign to save red diesel took a hit today when the European Commission (EC) announced that the fuel “goes clearly against” European taxation policy.

In a communication to the Treasury, the EC explained that of the more than 100 derogations due to expire at the end of the year, most were “no longer needed”.

In fairly conclusive wording, the statement reads: “Fuel used for private air pleasure navigation and for navigation in private pleasure craft: In both cases the derogations go clearly against the objective of the Energy Tax Directive which requires that such uses are taxable.”

However, this is far from a final decision.

Editor Simon Collis said: “This is only an indication from the EC as to what’s on its mind. It’s now up to us to make sure our views are heard in Brussels.

“We still have time to convince the Commission that scrapping red diesel would have far reaching, negative consequences on not just boaters, but communities and the pockets of ordinary taxpayers.”

Read more in August’s issue of MBM, on sale 20 July.