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Old 03-07-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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Default Red diesel fines in Europe

I have my ketch in fambridge Essex uk I now cannot cruise outside 12miles offshore as I have red diesel which 95% of marinas only supply in the uk.
If I am caught outside these limits I will be fined 700 euros,regardless of the fact I paid duty in the uk for the fuel.
The eu certainly know how to gain popularity, we need a referendum, now
Ironically most the fuel on board I bought in the us when I had her shipped, I believe any vessels registered outside the eu are exempt.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:14 AM   #2
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I have my ketch in fambridge Essex uk I now cannot cruise outside 12miles offshore as I have red diesel which 95% of marinas only supply in the uk.
If I am caught outside these limits I will be fined 700 euros,regardless of the fact I paid duty in the uk for the fuel.
The eu certainly know how to gain popularity, we need a referendum, now
Ironically most the fuel on board I bought in the us when I had her shipped, I believe any vessels registered outside the eu are exempt.
I am SOOO confused by this. Red=exempt from road tax. Assumption that diesel is used for heating or boating. What part of the offshore sailing is there a road?
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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Uh...I think you are trying to use to much logic.

Just think "We are broke and need to" fine'd" money somewhere"

More severe boating regulations are coming. I distinctly remember listening to President Obama giving a recent speach and hearing about "those rich yacht owners" who need to pay. Unfortunately any new law or regulation the Gov. passes effects ALL boaters, not just the rich ones.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:05 AM   #4
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Hey, Mate, I was very interested in what Obama might have said about "rich yacht owners" since the USA tends to have a view that anyone who owns a boat is...rich. However, the link--while informative about what other dems said, didn't quote Obama. What speech or where was he when he said that? I would love to follow up and read the transcript.

Liveaboard boaters are not usually wealthy. However, far too many people in the US do see a boat as a status symbol and it seems to be those same folks who proudly tell the world about their little tax shelter for their boat. It hurts all boaters when these folks boast of calling a yacht their primary or second home (when they don't actually use it as such) and getting a mortgage interest deduction OR when they put the personal yacht in a corporation's name and so forth. We're harmed by the acts of those people.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen dog View Post
...
If I am caught outside these limits I will be fined 700 euros,regardless of the fact I paid duty in the uk for the fuel.
The eu certainly know how to gain popularity, we need a referendum, now
Ironically most the fuel on board I bought in the us when I had her shipped, I believe any vessels registered outside the eu are exempt.
... it is indeed a big problem for all of us sailing in European waters (and to non EC-countries) filling up the diesel tank abroad.
But in Germany the ministry for finacial and tax affairs has noticed this problem already in 2008 and reacted a little in favour for us sailing folks.

So, now the authorities (customs) are aware of the fact, that in some countries private yachts can only get red coloured diesel and this caused problems with German customs: Paying further dues, if the red Diesel is declared, of even severe fines if they were not told that the diesel is red and on top of that you were told to clean your whole diesel system!!!

There are special taxes and dues on Diesel fuel that is ment for use in all kinds of engines. These taxes and dues are not on Diesel that is used exclusively for household heating. This fuel for heating is marked with red colour or with the marker solvent yellow 124 (which is not visible!!!).
Now the actual situation in German waters:
Generally it is still not allowed to carry this marked fuel in the tanks of a yacht and it is still fined by the customs authorities if they find this marked diesel in your tanks.

The “import” of unmarked diesel (legal for use in engines) is allowed in quantities for private use – that means ship`s tank and a 20ltr jerry can, if you come from another EC-member state. And you may import your filled up ship`s tank and a jerry can of 30ltr when entering from a non EC-country. (This is a little off topic, but important, when entering Germany with full tanks and many jerry cans, blue water sailors like to have on board.)

And now the marked diesel:
Again: Generally it is still not allowed to enter with marked diesel. But there are now excemptions when following these advices:
You may import marked diesel,
- if the use of marked diesel in engines is legal in the country of departure, and if you do not have more than the quantities for private use on board. It does not matter, if there have been taxes paid for the diesel or not in the country of purchase.
- German customs know that diesel from Great Britain and Malta is red. It also contains the marker solvent yellow 124. It is also known that Diesel from Norway and Ireland is green. Belgium had red diesel until 2007, since then it is unmarked.
- When entering German waters with marked diesel, it is sufficient to present the receipts of gas stations from the country/countries where you bought the marked diesel. (Keep in mind that the markers are still present when gas stops for the purchase of unmarked diesel took place later – therefor it is a good idea to start collecting receipts well in advance before entering German waters.)
- If there are no receipts as proofs, it should also be sufficient to present the ship´s log and/or the registration of the yacht (when it is registered in a country that adds markers to the diesel).



So, when entering German waters (especially when entering from a non-Schengen- state) and customs gets in touch with you it is best to inform them about your diesel situation.

I got this information from a letter issued by the German federal ministry of finance adressed to the German Motor Yacht Association dating July 14th 2008 and if any fellow sailor likes to have a copy of this letter (PDF - and unfortunately in German language, but just perfect for German custom offecers) in your ship´s papers befor entering German waters, feel free and contact me by pm.

And maybe some other European fellow sailors here in the forum come and inform about the situation in other European countries concerning marked diesel to make live a little easier concerning the diesel question here in EC waters.


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Old 03-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #6
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Aquaria,

Thanks so much for the detailed information regarding the EU and red dye diesel. Hopefully soon it will be sorted out for folks in the EU but it sounds a bit tricky. Seems that with the invisible dye one could be putting the wrong stuff in quite by accident as well.

For USA boaters:

Here in the USA, the specifics of red dye or not in the diesel relate to a tax for on-road vehicles. Thus the folks driving around in diesel car/truck must pay road tax and all else can use a red dye diesel. Farm vehicles and yachts are the prevailing users of red dye diesel. The dye simply indicating that no road tax was paid. Home heating oil also has no tax and includes red dye since various grades of it can be burned safely in diesel engines.

Here in the USA, one can also get into a bit of technical difficulty using the "wrong" red dye fuel in a boat though. Some large stations carry red dye fuel for use in home heating. Some grades of heating oil fuel can damage and gum up the diesel engine. Unfortunately, the minimum wage attendant at such stations often doesn't know whether their company has provided red dye diesel or red dye home heating oil. Big difference. In one town, we had to purchase diesel from such a station and ended up just paying the road tax and getting regular diesel in our jerry jugs since we couldn't be certain that the red dye stuff was actual diesel rather than heavier grade heating oil.

We happen to typically use non-dye road diesel (usually) since the local harbor taxes on (red dye non-road tax) fuel dispensed here on the West Coast is often higher than bringing jugs of taxed fuel from the service station to the boat. We have four 5 gal diesel containers and the last time we filled up our (approx 350 gal total) tanks aboard we were saving $11 each trip of 20 gallons carried in the car. And it was only a few blocks between station and harbor. We had about 1/2 tank already so only had to get about 150 gal--so 8 trips saved about $88 for the cruising kitty. Not all harbors have expensive fuel, we've filled up in fishing harbors where the red diesel is lower than road diesel as well.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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I use taxed fuel too and find it cheaper. Not that it matters - I use 10 gallons a year at most. Four hour per gallon at 1800 and I usually go slower than that if I must motor because I hate the noise.

It is illegal to do though. The coast guard can't imagine you can do it without spilling.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:43 AM   #8
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It is illegal to do though. The coast guard can't imagine you can do it without spilling.
expand ???
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:04 PM   #9
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expand ???
OK, so now I'm stumped. It is one of those things I have "known" for years: You are allowed to fill your boat only in CG approved filling stations and if you are caught using jerry cans you will be fined.

However, when I look for verification of that fact I hit a blank wall. Perhaps I am victim of an urban legend. Or maybe I google the wrong key words.

Either way, I can't find a reference, but will keep looking.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:54 PM   #10
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Call the US Coast Guard. I've called their toll free hotline for a variety of things in the past. Very useful. One time I called at 1 am Pacific time (4 am in DC) thinking I'd leave a recorded message and they'd get back to me. It was better--there was an attendant there who took my question and got an answer to me within 30 minutes via email.

Here's some info about the hotline:


The Boating Safety Hotline is a toll-free telephone service operated by the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, D.C.

Hotline operators provide callers with information on boating safety recalls and consumer complaints about possible product safety defects. Other safety information and literature concerning recreational boating can also be obtained through the Hotline.

Who can use the Hotline? Anyone with access to a telephone in the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, by dialing the toll-free number: (800) 368-5647. When can I call? A Hotline operator will be on duty Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. eastern time. Calls received after normal working hours will reach a recorded message.

Will the operator answer all my questions? Hotline operators are trained to answer many questions on boating safety directly over the telephone. If the question is very technical, the operator can ask a Coast Guard specialist to call you back. Or, if the question is too complicated to answer directly over the telephone, the operator may send you written information covering the subject. If the question deals with a topic outside of the Coast Guard's Recreational Boating Safety program, the Hotline operator will try to refer you to an office or agency that can help.

What are some of the issues addressed on the Hotline? Trained operators are available to answer questions about:
  • Boating Safety courses
  • Marine toilets
  • Coast Guard Boardings Licenses
  • Courtesy Marine Examinations
  • Charts
  • Boat documentation
  • Guns aboard
  • Rules of the Road
  • EPIRBS
  • Required safety equipment
  • Hurricanes
  • Safety Defect reports
  • Recall information
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