Dutch Government stops red diesel fines

Dutch Ministry of Finance says it will suspend fines and await advice from the EC

The Dutch Government has today confirmed that it will no longer fine boaters for using British-bought red diesel in Dutch waters.

In an email to MBM, a spokesman from Holland’s Ministry of Finance, said: “Until the European Commission informs us how to act in these situations, we will not fine any boaters who can prove they filled up their boats with red diesel in Great Britain.”

This is a big shift in policy from a few weeks ago, when a spokesman from Dutch Customs said that any boats entering Dutch waters with red diesel in its tanks, regardless of when it was bought, would be subject to huge fines.

The troubling situation arose because the Dutch claimed that no one had informed them that the UK had been granted a temporary extension to the red diesel derogation until 1 November 2008.

Now, however, it seems the message has got through.

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This will be welcome news to all those who had thought of cancelling trips to Holland after the news broke that the Dutch Government considered the use of British-bought red diesel in its waters illegal.