Tag Archives: green diesel

Green diesel: reasoned opinion [updated]

Some news on one of our favourite topics.

The European Commission has formally requested Ireland to amend its legislation to ensure that private pleasure boats 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, Ireland breaches EU law by allowing the use of marked fuel for the purposes of propelling private pleasure craft. As a consequence, private leisure boats can not only use fuel intended for fishing vessels, subject to a lower taxation, but also risk heavy penalties if they travel to another Member State and the ship is checked 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 Ireland to the EU’s Court of Justice.

European Commission press release dated 16 April 2014, about three quarters of the way down the page.

Update: I see that the Irish Examiner noticed the EC statement. And NESC believes (sensibly) that green diesel should be scrapped altogether. Which won’t happen, because if you didn’t have unnecessary or ridiculous regulations Irish politicians wouldn’t be able to pretend to be doing something useful by playing with them.


Mineral Oil Tax returns for 2013

I have been pointing out for many years that the Mineral Oil Tax is paid by only a tiny minority of Irish boat-owners, although it should be paid by all those who use rebated (green) diesel for propulsion of private pleasure craft. You can read my previous postings here, here, here and here, with information on how to pay, in 2014, the tax due for 2013 here.

Twelve months ago I gave the figures for the years 2009–2012.

In 2010, 38 boat-owners paid the tax for 2009.

In 2011, 41 boat-owners paid the tax for 2010.

In 2012, 22 boat-owners paid the tax for 2011. The total amount received was €53,398.58 on 141,503.29 litres of diesel, an average of 6432.1 litres per return; I reckoned that much of that figure was accounted for by the hire fleets.

In 2013, 23 boat-owners paid the tax for 2012. The total amount received was €113,841.45 on 301,674 litres of diesel. I was unable to explain the increase.

I now have the latest figures. In 2014, 20 boat-owners paid the tax for 2013. The amount received was €105,561.74 on 279,842.4  litres of diesel. This is the smallest number of returns since the idiotic tax was introduced.

I have suggested to the Revenue Commissioners that they should compare the reported total number of litres of diesel bought with the total sales reported by those Licensed Marked Fuel Traders who sell at marinas. The licensing system has been in operation since October 2012 so Revenue should be able to determine the total sales for 2013 and compare them with the reported purchases. The match is unlikely to be exact but the orders of magnitude would be interesting. If Revenue releases the figures to me I will report them here.



The Revenue Commissioners [whom god bless and preserve] and their UK counterparts intend to add a new marker to rebated diesel to make it more difficult for oiks, cads and rotters to pollute the countryside.

If they had any sense, they would abolish rebated diesel altogether and force everybody — including boat-owners — to pay the full rate.

Lowtown Canal Yard is for sale

Details here.

If I won the lottery I’d buy it myself. Sad to see Robert and Caroline Few selling, after many years of service to the canal; I wish them all the best in the future.

Too much excitement …

… is bad for me, so I haven’t checked the list of licensed marked fuel traders [.xls] for some time. As a result, I may be late in noting the addition to the list of Shannon Sailing at Dromineer on Lough Derg. This is, I think , the most southerly point on the non-tidal Shannon at which boaters can legally buy green diesel.

No worst, there is none.

Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?

And no more licensed marked fuel traders [.xls] on the Shannon either.

If …

… Revenue can operate a diesel rebate scheme for road hauliers and bus operators, why can’t it do the same for farmers?

And if it can do that, what further reason is there for the continued existence of marked (green) diesel?

The multitudinous seas incarnadine …

… making the green one read? The green one being the list of licensed marked fuel (green diesel) traders [xls], which shows no new licensed traders on the Shannon, the Erne or (since list week’s addition of Lowtown Marine) the Grand Canal.

It’s back!

The unmissable weekly read: the list of holders of marked fuel traders’ licences [xls] has returned! Life just wasn’t the same without it.

The list of Shannonside fuel traders is the same, though, at least as far as I can see.

Life gets tedious …

… don’t it, when there’s no 100-page list of holders of Marked Fuel Traders Licences to plough through. Revenue didn’t update the list last week; I attributed that to the Monday bank holiday. But there was no new list today either.

Given that I probably constitute 100% of the readers of the document, I feel I should Make Representations, In The Strongest Possible Terms.