Following the sustained efforts of the Cruising Association (CA), including meeting the Belgian Ambassador and lobbying via the CA’s Honorary Local Representatives in addition to its other contacts in Belgium, the Belgian Finance Office has confirmed to the CA that there will now be no fines or penalties for UK vessels visiting Belgium which have UK marine red diesel in their tanks.
The notice from the Finance Office read: “The policy of tolerance regarding Red Diesel in UK flagged yachts visiting Belgium will be maintained until further notice. Any change to this policy will be communicated in due time. This removes any remaining uncertainty for the members, and other yachtsmen and women, who wish to make the crossing from the east coast or channel ports to Belgium. This status quo to the agreement will not change, without warning, on behalf of the boating community in the UK.”
However, 100% fuel duty must still be paid on all Red Diesel which is purchased before a trip to Belgium. The full advice details are contained in the note from the CA’s Regulations and Technical Services Group (RATS) which can be seen at https://www.theca.org.uk/rats/red_diesel_use_in_belgium
The CA is grateful to the Belgian authorities for confirming the policy, and is encouraging its members to visit Belgium again this Summer after many stayed away last year.