Bel­gium U-turn on red diesel, again

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS -

Bel­gian au­thor­i­ties have once again per­formed a U-turn on the pol­icy to fine vis­it­ing yachts us­ing red diesel. The news fol­lows a spate of fines im­posed on Bri­tish yachts in Bel­gium over the sum­mer.

In a joint state­ment from the Bel­gian Min­is­ter for Cus­toms and Min­is­ter for the North Sea, it was an­nounced that the fines would not be im­posed un­til there has been an EU meet­ing on the topic, sched­uled for 18 Septem­ber 2017. The gov­ern­ment was con­cerned that the fines were dis­cour­ag­ing yachts from vis­it­ing the coun­try, plac­ing its mari­nas at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage to those in other EU coun­tries where the fines are not be­ing im­posed. The an­nounce­ment comes after the Cruis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion lob­bied the Bel­gian gov­ern­ment on the mat­ter.

Bel­gian North Sea Min­istry spokes­woman Vicky Vangeel said: ‘Since 2007, red diesel in leisure craft has been pro­hib­ited on the ba­sis of EU reg­u­la­tions. It is im­por­tant that there is a uni­form ap­proach in the Mem­ber States. The is­sue will be ad­dressed at the next Euro­pean meet­ing. Un­til then, the checks will be sus­pended.’

Maarten Des­loo­vere, man­ager at VVW-Nieuw­poort Ma­rina, added: ‘Mari­nas in Bel­gium like to wel­come all UK sailors, in the past, now and in the fu­ture. There still might be checks for pa­per­work, or even red diesel, but as long as sailors can show that taxes have been paid on the red diesel, there won’t be fines.’

UK yachts in Bel­gium will be safe from fines for now

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