Originally Posted by Zen dog
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.