Red diesel

[European Commission] May infringements package: main decisions

Reference: MEMO/13/470 Event Date: 30/05/2013

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.

The Commission has taken today 143 decisions, including 15 reasoned opinions and 5 referrals to the European Union’s Court of Justice. Below is a summary of the main decisions. For more information on infringements procedure, see MEMO/12/12. […]

3. Reasoned opinions […]

Taxation: Commission requests United Kingdom to ensure private boats do not use lower taxed fuel

The European Commission has formally requested the United Kingdom to amend its legislation to ensure that private pleasure boats such as luxury yachts can no longer buy lower taxed fuel intended for fishing boats. Under EU rules on fiscal marking for fuels, fuel that can benefit from a reduced tax rate has to be marked by coloured dye. Fishing vessels for example are allowed to benefit from fuel subject to a lower tax rate but private boats must use fuel subject to a standard rate.

Currently the UK law does not impose fuel distributors to have two separate fuel tanks, one with marked fuel subject to a lower tax rate and the other with regular fuel subject to a standard tax rate. As a consequence, private leisure boats can not only use fuel intended for fishing vessels but also risk heavy penalties if they travel to another Member State and the ship is controlled by the local authorities.

The Commission’s request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the United Kingdom to the EU’s Court of Justice.

(for more information: E. Traynor – Tel. +32 229 21548 – Mobile +32 498 98 3871)

h/t Michael Clarke

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