Boaters can continue to use red diesel in England, Wales and Scotland

The Government has responded to the Treasury consultation on reforms to the tax treatment of red diesel that ran in the summer of 2020. The owners of private pleasure boats, a term within which the Government includes boats used as homes, can continue to use red diesel as they do now, in England, Wales and Scotland. They will not be able to use red diesel in Northern Ireland.

The Government made the announcement in the Budget on 3rd March 2021, and published its response to the Treasury consultation of last year. The Government’s response states:

“Following consultation, the government has decided to maintain the entitlement to use red diesel beyond April 2022 for all commercial boat operating industries, including but not limited to the fishing and inland water freight industries.

The government has therefore decided not to change the treatment of private pleasure craft in Great Britain, where they will continue to be able to use red diesel and pay their fuel supplier the difference between the red diesel rate and the white diesel rate on the proportion they intend to use for propulsion.

In Northern Ireland, private pleasure craft users will no longer be able to use red diesel for propelling their craft. This will achieve consistency with the 2018 judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and ensure the UK meets its international obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement. It will also align with fuel used by private pleasure craft in the Republic of Ireland, which should make it simpler for private pleasure craft users to access the fuel they need if they sail between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (and vice versa)”.

Travelling fairgrounds and circuses will also be able to continue using red diesel to power machinery and caravans. Red diesel use for non-commercial power generation, including households not connected to the electricity grid, will also continue.

You can download the full Government response here Summary_of_responses_to_the_red_diesel_consultation

Th web page for the Treasury consultation is here