Belgium puts ‘Brexit’ boot into Brit boats
During our summer cruise, in company with three other yachts from our Medway-based yacht club, we put into Nieuwpoort, Belgium and were immediately boarded by customs who inspected our papers and took fuel samples from the tanks.
My boat has not used red diesel for two years but the sample was tinged pale pink due to residual traces of dye in the tank. Despite my protest my fuel was declared ‘red’ and fined €500.
Two of our boats had red diesel, as we had been led to believe that a derogation was in place to cover the UK fuel situation. They were also fined 500 euros each. The fourth boat had never used red diesel so did not receive a fine.
The customs official as good as admitted that we were targeted because of Brexit! I advise your readers to stay outside of Belgian waters and not visit that country while they are adopting such tactics against UK cruisers?
I should add that the local people, particularly the marina management at the Belgian Air Force Yacht Club, were very embarrassed by such actions from their government and gave us every possible assistance.
Turn up in Belgium with even a trace of red diesel in your tanks and you could be facing a €500 fine