In yesterday’s Spring Budget announcement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has shared plans to review the current use of red diesel.
The government is set to consult with red diesel users to determine whether continued access to the fuel is justifiable. The consultation will be conducted with a view to remove the entitlement to red diesel use, except for agricultural, rail and non-commercial heating purposes by April 2022.
Commercial boats on open waters, including ferries and fishing boats, will remain entitled to the Marine Voyages Relief so will not face a charge increase if the entitlement to use red diesel is revoked.
This decision has been taken by the Chancellor with the intention to incentivise businesses to improve energy efficiency and to investigate greener alternatives where possible.
The RYA believes that while red diesel remains the primary and often only fuel available at the waterside it should continue to be available to recreational boaters in the UK for the purpose of propelling a private recreational vessel. HMRC have confirmed there will be a consultation in the spring and the RYA will be working with other significant stakeholders to make a strong representation on behalf of recreational boaters. Although details of the consultation have yet to be set out, the RYA remains fully engaged with the debate surrounding the continued availability of diesel for private recreational craft at the waterside.
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