Bel­gium puts ‘Brexit’ boot into Brit boats

Yachting Monthly - - LETTERS - Ralph Curlewis

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

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