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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Warwick. Boat in Swansea
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Offshore Bunkering

    The recent case of the duty free off licence anchored off Hartlepool has highlighted the attitude that customs will take if anyone attempts to sell Red diesel from outside the 12 mile limit.
    The basic problem is that customers will be re-entering the UK with goods where duty is then payable, this, given customs extraordinary powers, will make them liable for the duty (probably on the whole tankful whether or not purchased from said offshore bunker) and possibly liable to forfeiture of their boat.
    Customs would only have to do this a couple of times to dissauade people from using such a hypothetical facility.

    Now If I remember rightly, somewhere enshrined in international marine law, is the inalienable right for a vessel to take on fuel from another vessel...anyone like to clarify?? and which law takes precedence.

    In the case of the Hartlepool operation, Customs had threatened to sieze the boats of anyone using the offshore facility. In the end they siezed the stock and vessel of the operator, when he went in to harrogate marina.

    So looking at this it would appear that Customs would have us by the short and curlies if we lose the Derogation.


    Steve.

    <hr width=100% size=1><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by steverow on 12/07/2004 15:40 (server time).</FONT></P>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    ked into poverty by children
    Posts
    8,517

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    I get the impression that someone high up, possibly wearing Mr Brown's trousers, instructed C&E to "get him, don't care how, we/I'll back you".

    <hr width=100% size=1>Two beers please, my friend is paying.
    Two beers please, my friend is paying.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Brecon, Wales
    Posts
    7,165

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    It seems that what they do does not even have to be legal ... they just use the weight of government to squash such things.

    So it does not matter what International Marine Law states ...... C&E will act and face the consequences later.

    Nor does EC law really matter .... even on major issues like Euro countries limiting budget deficits to 3% GDP both France and Germany just ignore the very rules that they so strictly enforced when the Euro was born and go way past the limit risking a fine of £11 billion - but no one will apply it.

    When it comes down to it scant regard is paid to even major harmonisation policies with the very instigators of those policies breaching them with impunity!

    There is a new direction of wind blowing in the EU and it may well prove more favourable to the red diesel campaign that we may have ever thought possible.


    <hr width=100% size=1>Paul
    Paul
    St Francis 50 Cat
    My Multihull Forum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,665

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    Not sure you are quite right - the boat selling booze and fags off Hartlepool had paid duty on the goods, but in another EU country (I think Holland or Germany). The only restriction then is that the goods must be for personal use. As a result C&E did not pick on the purchaser buying the goods offshore, but did confiscate the goods from the seller when he came into port, as they were clearly not for his own use.

    Take that argument to selling diesel offshore. If the fuel was duty paid in another EU country (at a higher price than red diesel, but significantly lower than UK road fuel prices), then presumably we could fill up our boats for our own personal use without fear of having them impounded on return to a UK port. The only restriction on the tanker selling the fuel is that it could not land in a UK port for service /repair etc.


    <hr width=100% size=1>

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Guernsey
    Posts
    4,524

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    Already thought of that one having a large tanker 13 miles off the IOW which would use Alderney as its safe haven and refuelng port.

    Easy peasy now just need to tap up some people for some serious money to buy the boat.

    <hr width=100% size=1>Dom

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.soltron.co.uk>the website</A>
    Dom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Berkshire, Somerset, Hampshire
    Posts
    3,917

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    I think you would find Alderney could be a problem because of the legal pecularities of the Channel Islands vis a vis UK and Europe.

    However, the notion of selling diesel from an EU member country at its duty rate sounds fascinating, to say the least.

    Meantime suspect Jersey and Guernsey will be able to cure any financial woes by simply blasting out quite a few more Beaucettes and hiring Walcon for the duration. TNT anyone?

    <hr width=100% size=1><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by kimhollamby on 11/09/2004 13:02 (server time).</FONT></P>

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Guernsey
    Posts
    4,524

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    The idea with going back to Alderney is just so as I dont have to land in the UK and have my ship impounded.

    I wont say any more about the plan in case customs are now tuning in thanks to the little advert in MBM.

    <hr width=100% size=1>Dom

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.soltron.co.uk>the website</A>
    Dom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    4,673

    Default Re: Offshore Bunkering

    dont know if this is relevent but many motorists in the northern ireland drive south to top up and then return.. petrol in south is €1 ltre (67p) and in the north 99p(€1.45


    <hr width=100% size=1>Bill
    bill

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