Ostende and red diesel - BEWARE

Old Harry

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Here in Blighty, we are reportedly going over to white soon, so why not change before you go, then you will not need to carry receipts, or miss out on the delights Belgium has to offer
 

DennisF

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Here in Blighty, we are reportedly going over to white soon, so why not change before you go, then you will not need to carry receipts, or miss out on the delights Belgium has to offer
it’s not changing over to white which bothers me, I was already planning to do that before the trip. it’s the fact that they can apparently just glimpse at your filter bowl, declare it to be a bit stained pinkish and hand out an on the spot fine with zero evidence that concerns me!
 

Old Harry

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it’s not changing over to white which bothers me, I was already planning to do that before the trip. it’s the fact that they can apparently just glimpse at your filter bowl, declare it to be a bit stained pinkish and hand out an on the spot fine with zero evidence that concerns me!
I think you are, over thinking the issue, even here on the road there is a % error allowed
 

FulmarJeddo

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I was in Oostende in May and had a visit from Belgium Customs. It was all very friendly. They asked permission to come aboard for a documentation check and an obligatory fuel check. All my documentation was spot on and they departed without mentioning the fuel again. There were two teams, the other visited one of our friends boats, and both had a large backpack. As nothing came out of it on either of the two boats, we assumed it to be a fuel testing kit. I should add, both boats had been run on white diesel for at least two years before the trip, so we were totally relaxed about the visit.
 

DennisF

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I was in Oostende in May and had a visit from Belgium Customs. It was all very friendly. They asked permission to come aboard for a documentation check and an obligatory fuel check. All my documentation was spot on and they departed without mentioning the fuel again. There were two teams, the other visited one of our friends boats, and both had a large backpack. As nothing came out of it on either of the two boats, we assumed it to be a fuel testing kit. I should add, both boats had been run on white diesel for at least two years before the trip, so we were totally relaxed about the visit.
Thanks. I’ve also found this statement by the Cruising Association which states that the fines are still suspended. Although God knows what will happen after 31 Jan! 😂

https://www.theca.org.uk/system/files/The Use of Marine Red Diesel by Pleasure Craft When In EU Maritime State Waters June 2019.pdf
 

Old Harry

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CLB

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I think you are, over thinking the issue, even here on the road there is a % error allowed
Not in the example I know of. Fine issued and passports confiscated without even testing the fuel.
 

Marmalade

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Dennis - the last official news that I'm aware of said that Belgian authorities weren't enforcing red diesel bans on UK registered leisure boats. This has certainly been borne out by me and others who have sailed every year to Belgium. We have often been met on the pontoon by polite immigration police officers who have checked our passports and have taken a cursory look around the boat. No one has ever dipped our tank or asked anything about fuel.

Can't say what impact Brexit will have of course. You (and we) will be travelling next presumably from a non-EU country and I don't know what the rules are or if they will change...
 

DennisF

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Dennis - the last official news that I'm aware of said that Belgian authorities weren't enforcing red diesel bans on UK registered leisure boats. This has certainly been borne out by me and others who have sailed every year to Belgium. We have often been met on the pontoon by polite immigration police officers who have checked our passports and have taken a cursory look around the boat. No one has ever dipped our tank or asked anything about fuel.

Can't say what impact Brexit will have of course. You (and we) will be travelling next presumably from a non-EU country and I don't know what the rules are or if they will change...
That’s good to hear, and mirrors what I’ve found on the RYA and Cruising Association websites, although the information is a little old.

As we will still be in the transition period and trade negotiations in 2020, presumably little will change by that point 🤞. On a separate note, anyone have any recommendations for ‘must see’ destinations, bars, restaurants etc assuming we get over?
 

Daydream believer

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Get the tram & go & see the atlantic wall at Raversyde better still. Go to the cycle shop called "Candy" just past the orange monument "objects" & hire electric bikes. Pedal along the sea front , turn off at the end of the buildings ( there is a tram station there) & pickup the foot path/cycle track behind the sea wall & cycle to the museum . That is more fun. There is a restaurant/cafe in the nature reserve behind the wall so you can get lunch easily. Then when you come back you can use the bikes to explore the parks. Quite an interesting couple of hours. Another use for the bikes is to cycle to Blankenburge. That is quite good fun as well. But always hire electric bikes. About 30 euros for a day. Better to book the day before. Also go & have a look round the Mercator, a ship in the marina. If you go 12-18 August you can go to the Paulusfeesten, I have been going for years, It is a free music festival in the evenings. Great fun.
 
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DangerousPirate

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Forgive my ignorance but what is the difference between red diesel and white diesel? And why does it matter to belgium or the netherlands or anyone else?

Edit: Oh, apparently it aint dead yet *pokes thread with stick*
 

Marmalade

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are you asking from a technical perspective - ie what is the chemical difference? Or are you asking what the fuss is all about?
 

Rappey

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Forgive my ignorance but what is the difference between red diesel and white diesel
Taxation. The Europeans were not happy that we used to get diesel for leisure much cheaper.
Nowadays marina prices for red have been more than forecourt white
 

DangerousPirate

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Taxation. The Europeans were not happy that we used to get diesel for leisure much cheaper.
Nowadays marina prices for red have been more than forecourt white
I wasnt aware I would answer a such old discussion. But I really always thought that the red and the white are the same thing except that one got red dye for some reason?

Cant wrap my head around why anyone would want to do that.
 

Bru

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"white" diesel is diesel fuel for use, primarily, in road vehicles and the tax and duty is applied accordingly

It contains various additives to improve performance in vehicle engines, the exact additive blend being brand specific

"red" diesel is fuel for use in plant and machinery etc and attracts a significantly lower level of duty.

The red dye and trace markers are added to "red" diesel in order to detect its illegal use in applications where the higher duty rate applies

"red" diesel may be exactly the same stuff as white diesel but without the additives (which are mostly added to the fuel at the final distribution point e.g the tanker) or it may not (there are several specifications of oil which can legally be sold as "red diesel ")

The UK permitted leisure boats to use low duty "red" diesel. This fell foul of EU wide tax harmonisation and after much huffing and puffing the UK implemented a clunky arrangement where we could use red but pay the full duty

That went down like a lead balloon as it meant there was no means of verifying whether full duty had been paid on the fuel in a boats tanks. Hence the issues with using red if travelling to the EU

Whilst other EU countries turned a blind eye for the most part, the Belgians didn't. Then they did. Then they didn't. Then they did unless they didn't and so on!

It was a mess and the gods alone know what will actually happen when the fallout from Brexit finally settles

(Let's not get into the politics, that's fur elsewhere on the forums)
 

DangerousPirate

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No worries. Im not getting into politics. I live a happier life since I became ignorant to "what happens in the world around me". I care about me, my friends, my girls, my next stop and my boat - and thats about it.

Anyways. Red Diesel is nothing different, it just has lower taxes on it to make working peoples lives easier, right? White diesel is just for regular cars and a luxury, hence more expensive because its not a necessity, red diesel is cheaper because it is used for machines and not personal comfort. And the entire thing left a sour taste in the EUs mouth because they lost a lot of money over boaties being allowed to use the commercial diesel.

I thought it was an environmental cause at some point.

The fact that they have red dieseljust for commercial use without,or lesser, taxes seems a little weird considering how things normally work. Interesting topic though. Everydays a schoolday.
 

Fr J Hackett

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No worries. Im not getting into politics. I live a happier life since I became ignorant to "what happens in the world around me". I care about me, my friends, my girls, my next stop and my boat - and thats about it.

Anyways. Red Diesel is nothing different, it just has lower taxes on it to make working peoples lives easier, right? White diesel is just for regular cars and a luxury, hence more expensive because its not a necessity, red diesel is cheaper because it is used for machines and not personal comfort. And the entire thing left a sour taste in the EUs mouth because they lost a lot of money over boaties being allowed to use the commercial diesel.

I thought it was an environmental cause at some point.

The fact that they have red dieseljust for commercial use without,or lesser, taxes seems a little weird considering how things normally work. Interesting topic though. Everydays a schoolday.
You are either a troll or incredibly naive.
 

Pye_End

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Anyways. Red Diesel is nothing different, it just has lower taxes on it to make working peoples lives easier, right?
Marine red tends not to have FAME in it, which white does. FAME reputedly not really a good thing for marine use, though Europe seems to get along with it ok.
 

Bru

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Marine red tends not to have FAME in it, which white does. FAME reputedly not really a good thing for marine use, though Europe seems to get along with it ok.
Unless it's specifically marketed as FAME free MDO (marine diesel oil) it will potentially, indeed probably, have FAME in it.
 

PeterBoater

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Unless it's specifically marketed as FAME free MDO (marine diesel oil) it will potentially, indeed probably, have FAME in it.
Marine diesel (gas oil) sold on tidal waters is/should be FAME-free; that sold on non-tidal/inland waters will contain FAME.
 
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