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Old 05-03-2015, 13:00   #1
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Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

Just topped off my tanks today here in Brighton, southcoast of England, haven't had a boat for a few years until this new purchase.

I was asked if I wanted 60-40% propulsion 60 heating 40% or some other split. Reason being heating oil is not taxed the same.

I could have gone , I think to 20/80, cheapest but I thought this was pushing it a bit. The difference in price is huge 30% cheaper for heating deisel.

What do you other British Yachties (Europe has different rules, they hate this apparantly, tax officials that is.) buy mix wise.

I bought 1,250 litres, so price was an issue.
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Old 05-03-2015, 19:30   #2
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

I was dealing with this for a few years, as I lived on the English canals...
At first I tried to make careful calculations, but it's not really possible. Gradually, it emerged that nobody really cares about those numbers anyway, much less follows up to check on them. In the end I would habitually be declaring 90% heating.
Some diesel vendors didn't bother to record any numbers at all, so then it was booked as 100% heating I guess.
Probably the current system of self-reporting is not sustainable and will eventually have to be replaced.
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Old 05-03-2015, 23:33   #3
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

Wish I had seen your post 2 days ago...Yep, I did wonder who had the time to check everything, the fuel jetty chap could have been a bit more helpful on suggestions. (My Webasto never seems to work for more than 2 days at a time so it would have been pushing it, however I have enough issues with HMRC as it is...)

Very odd system though, surprised the EU have not clamped this one shut.
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Old 06-03-2015, 00:22   #4
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

Brighton,

It is likely such a small dollar issue that it isn't worth the enforcement mechanism. Think of the time it would take to send someone to a boat, confirm how it was used, calculate an estimate of fuel vs heat, submit a report, have someone else send out the demand letters, file suit if the demand isn't paid... It just goes on.

The cost of compliance audits is higher than the cost of ignoring it so no one bothers. I would bet a few times a year someone gets strung up for it as an example, but only the most egregious violators.
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Old 06-03-2015, 00:32   #5
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

Having never purchased diesel over there can you clarify for me please.
Is the fuel the same just the tax differential component for the intended use?
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Old 06-03-2015, 00:54   #6
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

The diesel is diesel but dyed red. In the UK you can buy diesel for agricultural use for about 50% less than for a car, same for heating as heating oil is essentially diesel.

The police used to dip car tanks to check for red dye but I never saw this done.All boats used to be able to buy diesel at Agri rates, untilllll.

The UK is part of the European Union, but for some small differences, ie: we use the pound, and have 20 miles of water between us and THEM...The EU decided a few years ago that it was unfair that British sailors could buy fuel cheaper then the frogs, so insisted that UK boats paid more tax, as usual, a compromise was made, hence these weird % rules for diesel. (Any boat can buy diesel here cheaper than 20 miles away in France, even USA boats)

That is why the EU doesn't work, until you have universal taxation you don't have a truly workable financial and political union...thankfully for us here in England...
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:34   #7
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

I would not try putting red diesel in your car,about twice a year,the dept of transport block off the main road to Falmouth and spot check vehicles,last time 5 or 6 vehicles were seized for red diesel.

I assume this happens all across the uk.
the hmrc takes tax fraud very seriously.
which is effectively what you are doing if using it for joy riding,and not heating!

never heard of a vessel getting prosecuted,but probably a good idea to have a heater on board that can burn diesel if you are ever checked,as seizure of your vessel could result if in breach of the rules!
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Old 06-03-2015, 03:29   #8
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

I declare 80% domestic in the winter time.

"Domestic" is not just heating, it's also power generation. Living aboard on a mooring with no shore power, and sailing all the time (there's plenty of wind in the winter time), this isn't far off reality. As a result, I've been paying something like 75p lately -- what's that, $1.35 a liter? Last summer in Finland the cost was 1.50 euros, nearly double.

Bless the Brits for this very sensible and logical tax break. They have gotten a world of trouble from the EU about it, but so far continue staunchly defending their yachtsmen This is a truly maritime nation
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:21   #9
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

I sail a US-flagged boat and two years ago, I was in Scotland refueling for my trip back to The Netherlands and my berth there.

Later that summer, I was controlled by the Dutch Marchausee (Coast Guard and Immigration). They asked me what color my diesel was and I showed them my receipt from the Scottish marina and I am glad that I insisted in paying full tax on the red diesel.

Belgium isn't allowing any red diesel, receipt or not.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:42   #10
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

I suggest you refer to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) website (RYA meets with Government over latest red diesel development | News | News & Events | RYA ) and associated RYA links. You can fill up in the UK cheaper with red diesel and any other country is breaking the rules of agreements with Brussels if they try and tax you extra upon arrival in Belgium/Netherlands/France. There will be an EU "Directive" on the subject and if you do a little research I am sure you will find it. Quote that to the customs guys in Belgium and they will back off.

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Old 06-03-2015, 10:47   #11
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by George DuBose View Post
Belgium isn't allowing any red diesel, receipt or not.
It was OK last year though possibly changing in October - do you have any links showing if it has changed? It's a grey area.
Belgium to tolerate use of red diesel by UK boats | News | News & Events | RYA
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:48   #12
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

So how do you keep your red diesel from colouring your clear diesel?? Separate tanks?
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:17   #13
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Re: Buying deisel in the UK, how much do you declare is heating oil

You do not need to keep it separate. Pls read the link i gave in my post yest and also the link given by Conachair. You just need to keep the receipts and make sure the fuel supplier stamped the receipt as "Tax Paid".

An additional precaution would be to make sure that if you carry a reserve can of fuel (as I always do) then you fill this with duiesel at a road garage in the UK, so it will not be red. The rules for boats from the UK only allow red diesel in the main tank, not in anything else. The other solution, if you actually have red diesel in yr reserve tank would be to transfer it to yr main tank during the transit and before you arrive in a non-UK marina in the EU. This sounds like a stupidity but those customs guys in ther other EU states will do anything they can to try and hit the UK-user of red diesel.

Read the links. The RYA usually carries updates as well, in case anything changes.
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