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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12,477

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
    When I was in France a couple of years ago, the fuel in the marina cost an arm and a leg.. so I walked down to the supermarket and borrowed a trolly, then I fetched four by 30 litre plastic cans and took them back to the supermarket self service.. and filled them and took them back to the boat on the shopping trolly.. Jolly hard work but it saved a fortune.
    Hmmm, that's 120 litres - even if you got it completely free from the petrol station vs. 1.5 euros per litre at the marina, I would question if the savings were enough to justify the pain and sheer physical effort!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sth Lincs (Boat in Shotley Marina)
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorman View Post
    We have been in the Netherlands for five weeks and have yet to see an official of any sort. I have three receipts for Dutch white at €`1,3 a ltr or £0,90.it is as you will see, cheaper than our red. Take no notice from those who don't know.
    But have you just been lucky? Having said that 2 seasons ago my mate went mast up from Zeebrugge to Den Helder and also was not challenged although when I was with him we witnessed a 'boarding' by the Old Bill in the Noordzeekanal..... But as someone suggested in a previous thread it may have been drugs related. They were only on board for 10 minutes.

    I hear what you say TG, we are operating outside the EU regulations, but surely common sense should prevail. British boats are always likely to have even a residue of red diesel after a North Sea crossing. Clearly if the OP is correct and I'm not doubting in any way, as the diesel was duty paid and the Skipper was still fined, we are the victims of a higher level dispute, between the burocrats of Brussels and the Department of Trade or is it just a local 'jobs worth' ?
    "Keep true to the dreams of your youth."
    Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805)

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Here or there
    Posts
    76,942

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    If I were challenged, I would immediately phone Gus Lewis of the Rya for advice. That's wot I pay my dues for.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by phatcat1 View Post
    Just a heads up, a friend of our was in Ostende about 2 weeks ago. He was the only UK boat there.

    Had the usual visit from customs - then they asked about what diesel was in his tanks, he then produced the receipt but it didn't make any difference. Fined for having red diesel.

    500 Euro fine + tankage.

    New finance minister apparently and is very anti red diesel usage. They even fined two Belgian yachts with red in their tanks.
    We visit Belgium and Holland most years and spent 6 weeks cruising south Holland May-June this year.
    Our prefered crossing is Harwich to Zeebrugge where we have a stop over at the RBSC, then across to Vlissingen the next day dependent on weather and tide. The reverse on return. No issues experienced using red diesel which we use throughout from a 300 Lt tank.
    We do keep a fuelling log and receipts and always wave to passing customs boats.
    We have seen Brits re-fuelling in Dutch marinas with red diesel they have shipped from the UK and we met one couple who were fined because their fuel receipts were questionable. They managed to get the fine back after a lengthy challenge process conducted from the UK.
    Make your own minds up.
    I wouldn't let other people's angst spoil the pleasure of visiting either country, we have only ever experienced the greatest welcome in Belgium and the Netherlands

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Mersea
    Posts
    6,450

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by Boz View Post
    I hear what you say TG, we are operating outside the EU regulations, but surely common sense should prevail. British boats are always likely to have even a residue of red diesel after a North Sea crossing. Clearly if the OP is correct and I'm not doubting in any way, as the diesel was duty paid and the Skipper was still fined, we are the victims of a higher level dispute, between the burocrats of Brussels and the Department of Trade or is it just a local 'jobs worth' ?
    I have some experience of dealing with EU colleagues in a law enforcement context. There is a different mindset which applies. In the UK we have a tradition of discretion; in mainland Europe functionary law enforcement officials have no such thing as they work strictly by the codes. They don't care whether duty is paid or not; the code says that leisure craft may not use marked diesel and that's it. The fact that duty has been full paid is immaterial to them (although last year receipts did seem to help). The code was made simple and absolute and the Commission (containing some of the most pompous and irritating people I have ever meet (and that's up against some strong competition)) insisted a few years back that the UK and Ireland (and I think there was someone else) had to comply. You could argue that the current situation has been caused by the UK Government's reasonableness from which we all benefit but I guess as far as Belgium is concerned if you want to visit there, if this latest news is right, you best have cleaned tanks, pipes and white diesel to avoid the risk. I suspect the UK is at risk from some further action by the Commission for allowing us to use marked diesel even though we pay full tax on it.
    www.crossingthethamesestuary.com

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Here or there
    Posts
    76,942

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by Boz View Post
    I too would like to know, I'm been planning a trip to Holland for months
    Quote Originally Posted by WFA View Post
    We visit Belgium and Holland most years and spent 6 weeks cruising south Holland May-June thisk year.
    Our prefered crossing is Harwich to Zeebrugge where we have a stop over at the RBSC, then across to Vlissingen the next day dependent on weather and tide. The reverse on return. No issues experienced using red diesel which we use throughout from a 300 Lt tank.
    We do keep a fuelling log and receipts and always wave to passing customs boats.
    We have seen Brits re-fuelling in Dutch marinas with red diesel they have shipped from the UK and we met one couple who were fined because their fuel receipts were questionable. They managed to get the fine back after a lengthy challenge process conducted from the UK.
    Make your own minds up.
    I wouldn't let other people's angst spoil the pleasure of visiting either country, we have only ever experienced the greatest welcome in Belgium and the Netherlands
    Our Dutch neighbours rafted along side us.,stated this evening that if they have to bunker red in England, as long as they keep the fuel receipt they are OK on their rtn.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sth Lincs (Boat in Shotley Marina)
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by sailorman View Post
    Our Dutch neighbours rafted along side us.,stated this evening that if they have to bunker red in England, as long as they keep the fuel receipt they are OK on their rtn.
    Tillergirl's experience provides useful insight into the Belgium mindset. I hope now that this is a Sticky that it will be used to record experiences good and bad. The RYA's Red Diesel page was updated in the middle of June and although it refers to the issue generically, it is clear that it is principally Belgium that is the problem area. Consequently, we won't be going there unless forced by the weather. To be fair it was never on our planned itinerary for this year.

    I'm hoping that Sailorman's experience in Holland and the Netherlands is typical and having enjoyed the company and acquaintance of many Dutch people. I suspect it is...... but.......
    Last edited by Boz; 24-07-15 at 21:37.
    "Keep true to the dreams of your youth."
    Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805)

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sth Lincs (Boat in Shotley Marina)
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by tillergirl View Post
    I have some experience of dealing with EU colleagues in a law enforcement context. There is a different mindset which applies. In the UK we have a tradition of discretion; in mainland Europe functionary law enforcement officials have no such thing as they work strictly by the codes. They don't care whether duty is paid or not; the code says that leisure craft may not use marked diesel and that's it. The fact that duty has been full paid is immaterial to them (although last year receipts did seem to help). The code was made simple and absolute and the Commission (containing some of the most pompous and irritating people I have ever meet (and that's up against some strong competition)) insisted a few years back that the UK and Ireland (and I think there was someone else) had to comply. You could argue that the current situation has been caused by the UK Government's reasonableness from which we all benefit but I guess as far as Belgium is concerned if you want to visit there, if this latest news is right, you best have cleaned tanks, pipes and white diesel to avoid the risk. I suspect the UK is at risk from some further action by the Commission for allowing us to use marked diesel even though we pay full tax on it.
    Where did I read that an Irish boat that topped up his Green diesel with British Red ended up with a murky brown coloured diesel... that might have confused a few officials .
    "Keep true to the dreams of your youth."
    Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805)

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Itinerant. On an adventure!
    Posts
    2,856

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    Quote Originally Posted by phatcat1 View Post
    Just a heads up, a friend of our was in Ostende about 2 weeks ago. He was the only UK boat there.

    Had the usual visit from customs - then they asked about what diesel was in his tanks, he then produced the receipt but it didn't make any difference. Fined for having red diesel.

    500 Euro fine + tankage.

    New finance minister apparently and is very anti red diesel usage. They even fined two Belgian yachts with red in their tanks.
    Based on experience there are some steps to take.

    Involve the RYA - a stiff letter from them to the Flemish authority is like being nuzzled by a dead sheep.

    Write to your MEP and ask him-her what they think about this and will they make 'representations'

    Write to your MP and ask him-her to take it up on your behalf.


    Walk them all through the absurdity of the situation. Regarding the need for safety reasons for you to travel with sufficient diesel for the journey. The impossibility of buying white diesel in the UK and the fact that you had bought it 'legally' in the UK. Also that the system on your boat is tainted with red dye and white diesel will be contaminated anyway.
    The need for a little pragmatism - I assume you did not have 10,000 litres on board or were not selling it to passing boats.

    We got done, some time ago, in the Netherands for over €700. We did eventually get it back, following some action by our MEP.

    Good luck.
    Gwylan, a settee with a sail

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    10,788

    Default Re: Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

    No offence intended to Guapa but Belgies and Dutchies are very different. There is a strong French influence on the Belgian mindset and a strong pragmatic influence on the Dutch attitude, hence the Dutch will accept receipts for duty paid which is 87p per litre here in the UK on 60/40.

    This latest fine though means that Belgium is completely off the radar, we were due there next year but no way will we go anywhere near. It means a longer crossing straight to Flushing but you'd have to be bonkers to risk going to Belgium now. The biggest problem is missing the steaks at KYCN - best we've ever had.

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