The leisure marine industry has welcomed the news that private and commercial boats will be able to continue using red diesel, following a government u-turn.

The decision, announced during the Spring Budget, has overturned the ruling last July from HMRC stating that privately-owned pleasure craft would not be able to use red diesel from April 2022.

The u-turn follows extensive lobbying from the industry including from British Marine, the Inland Waterways Association and the Royal Yachting Association which argued that installing second pumps for white diesel across the UK’s harbours and ports would not be commercially viable.

Big success

Owners and operators of private pleasure craft in Great Britain will now be able to continue to use red diesel and pay their supplier the difference between the red diesel and white diesel rates on the proportion they intend to use for propulsion.

This is a big success story for the leisure marine industry as the treatment of red diesel beyond April 2022 has been a key issue for our members

Lesley Robinson, chief executive of British Marine.

We are delighted to see the government pay attention to boaters’ views and hope it paves the way for more sustainable fuels in the future

Alison Smedley, IWA campaigns and public affairs manager