Craig Mackinlay MP, Royal Yachting Association and the Cruising Association join forces to seek government assurances over red diesel

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Craig Mackinlay MP has welcomed assurances from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that the department will strive to defend the UK stance on red diesel as the Committee on Excise Duties and Indirect Tax Expert Group (attended by all 28 EU states) prepares to consider the issue on 18 September 2017.

In a meeting organised by the South Thanet Member of Parliament held in Parliament yesterday, Craig, the RYA, and the Cruising Association raised with civil servants from HMRC the problems boaters have been experiencing in Belgium in recent months relating to the use of red diesel for propelling private pleasure craft.

RYA Cruising Manager, Stuart Carruthers, said: “The UK Government and the European Commission have been in discussions over the continued availability of marked ‘red’ diesel for use in private pleasure craft in the UK for several years. We will continue to actively lobby on this matter, working closely with HMRC, and will keep boaters informed as the situation progresses.”

Craig Mackinlay MP commented: “Given that bulk diesel at UK marinas is only available as ‘red’, is fully taxed and in accordance with UK law, it really is perverse that boat owners are being fined by the Belgian authorities due to the existence of ‘red diesel’ within their tanks. We received a positive and sympathetic response from the HMRC who assured us that the Government will do its level best to bring about a fair and equitable resolution when they attend the EU Committee meeting on 18 September.”