RYA and BMF fight for boaters' rights in new saga


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

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.”