Private boat owners and boat yard owners are mustering their resources in their latest battle with the EU. The latest Recreational Craft Directive has challenged existing UK legislation that allows leisure boats to use red diesel on UK waters. At present leisure boat users can purchase red diesel for cooking, heating and lighting at a the lower rate of duty and only pay the higher rate for red diesel used for propulsion. If this challenge is successful it would mean that recreational craft would have to fill up using white diesel and pay full duty, even for the element of their fuel that is used for cooking, heating, refrigeration and electricity generation.
Leisure craft owners are fighting this change as it would add significant costs. One option would be for leisure craft to be adapted to have two fuel tanks, one for red diesel that could be used for cooking,heating etc., and one for white for propulsion however, this would be an expensive modification. It may not actually be practical on some craft and could be a safety hazard. The only other option is not to use red diesel at all, but that will increase the cost of heating and lighting considerably since the duty rates on white diesel are significantly higher than for red diesel. Add to this the fact that anyone on land using heating oil in their home for heating and hot water will also be paying a lower duty than that on white diesel, the proposal does seem unfair, particularly for those who live on their boats.
Boat yard owners are also unhappy as they would be required to supply white diesel for leisure craft and red diesel for commercial craft. This will mean a considerable financial outlay for new tanks and pumps.
BoilerJuice is a supplier of red diesel and you can get the latest information on red diesel prices in the UK from our red diesel price chart that is updated daily.