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Thing is John, as I'm sue you recall, that is exactly what the Belgians had to do when they lost the derogation similar to our own, perhaps that is the heart of this and they do not see why we can't do it as they had to do it a few years ago. Their diesel, despite being white road stuff is still very little ahead of our marina prices, but then so is their road fuel. There is the argument that fishing boats (charter angling & club rescue too) are still allowed full rate rebate in both countries and marinas don't want to stock both, even that is easy to overcome using the same procedure as comercials use for getting petrol rebate at the moment. I don't say I am happy with the situation but fact is that it needs to be resolved and I can quite understand, though not agree with the Belgian stance. My only choice at the moment is to factor an extra four or five hundred beer vouchers into the equation for a trip to Belgium.

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That's an option John, provided you can manage it without passing through Belguim's 12 mile teratorial waters and don't have to divert due to conditions. Trouble is I love Belguim, I love the food, I love the harbours and I really like the people so this is all a real issue for me, I guess a Le Boat inland is an option but nice though it is, it's just not the same. :cry

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi

Been thinking a bit more about this years summer trip :naughty::naughty:

What about going to Amsterdam from Lowestoft ?

please feel free to put the mockers on this one as well ( is there a mine field on the way in or you get shot on entry etc) :yawn::yawn:

cheers Barry

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No Barry, you just get your boat seized and impounded by the customs guys for the funny smell and brown smoke thats coming from your engine bay as you chugs back under Haven bridge! :lol::naughty::dance

Well thats what happened to the last ship we sailed back from Amsterdam on anyway :grin:

Julz :wave

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Not going to look back through the articles now but i seem to recall that this all started with the Dutch. Think that there are more reported cases of people being stopped and fined in Dutch waters than Belgium. It is just that Belgium are the most recent to issue an official statement.

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Official lines seem somewhat different; although of course 'on the ground' can be different again :roll:

Belgium

Dear Mr .......

I apologize for the somewhat belated reply to your last email but I wanted to make sure I had all pertinent information in my possession before coming back to you.

Although I understand the difficult position you and other British cruisers are in, I have to confirm that Belgium will indeed continue to fine pleasure vessels using dyed diesel. EU legislation clearly does not allow the use of dyed diesel for leisure vessels and Member States have to conform to this. It is worth noting that Belgium also used to allow for an exemption for pleasure vessels but put an end to it on the 31st of December 2006 in order to be in conformity with said EU legislation.

Belgian authorities have been in contact both with their British counterparts and with the Commission to explain it had no other choice but to implement EU legislation. Not doing so could be considered as an infringement. The Commission has never berated Belgium for its practice of fining the use of dyed diesel. Quite to the contrary, it is my understanding that the Commission has asked British authorities for explanations pertaining to its continued use of dyed diesel and started an investigation against the UK . Some of the confusion surrounding this question arises from early letters from the Commission which unfortunately contain some inaccurate information. As mentioned in my first email, we are currently waiting for a decision from the Commission and will in the meantime continue to respect and implement the EU legislation on the use of diesel.

Regards,

Serge Dickschen

Counsellor - Political Affairs

Embassy of Belgium

17 Grosvenor Crescent

London SW1X 7EE

020/7470 3727

Dutch

"In answer to your email of 20 December I can give you the following information.

We have required information from the Dutch Customs about their policy concerning red diesel and received the following information from them. They are aware of the fact that it is not possible for British yachtsman to fuel their thanks with anything else then red diesel at the moment. Therefore there is a special arrangement in place for British Yachts coming from the UK.

You can fill up your tanks with red diesel, but not take more fuel with you then the amount of your tanks. You have to be able to show the receipt, which can’t be older than 1 year old. On the receipt should be written that “the difference in tax between white and red diesel is paid by the UK Government (the 60/40 notice)â€. According to the Dutch Customs this should be on the receipt automatically.

If you would like to have more information about the policy of the Dutch Customs you could contact them directly:

Douane

Postbus 3070

6401 DN Heerlen

The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 45 574 3031

http://www.douane.nl

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Maybe worth getting a letter or email direct from MK customs if you can. That way if you are stopped you remove the ability of those on the ground to interpret the rules to suit themselves.

Perry, The Belgium letter is an official statement but although it says in the Dutch one that information was sought from NL customs do you know the source? Would it stand up as proof?

Still sure that the first instance of fining was Holland but if faced with a particularly arrogant boater maybe the issuer had just had enough.

We all know the chances of picking up a speeding ticket increases if the opening gambit is now listen here son, I was driving cars when you were in nappys.

I think there have only been a couple of instances so neither Holland or Belgium are exactly waging a war are they?

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Ian the reply is from one of our berth holders who decided to ask the Douane the question we are all wondering.

As I have said before we went to Belgium two years ago and were ignored by customs but the thought of a fine at over 4 euro a litre based on the tank size (500 litres in our case) is enough to dampen my enthusiasm; much as I love Belgium.

The Dutch examples (from memory) were Yotties carrying spare cans of Red more i.e. carrying spare fuel in addition to their tanks. Having these strapped on to the upper works would be a Red rag one would think.

The letter from the Douane states "We have required information from the Dutch Customs about their policy concerning red diesel and received the following information from them" so the Douane have consulted and got the response "You can fill up your tanks with red diesel, but not take more fuel with you then the amount of your tanks. You have to be able to show the receipt, which can’t be older than 1 year old. On the receipt should be written that “the difference in tax between white and red diesel is paid by the UK Government (the 60/40 notice)â€. According to the Dutch Customs this should be on the receipt automatically."

I would suggest if you are considering a trip you write and gain your own response to satisfy yourself and know what you need to adhere to.

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Working on the premise that fuel & customs information concerning a destination is as important as local tidal, marina, local safety regulations, pilotage information et al and that it relates to the destinations being discussed it can easily be argued that there is no thread drift on this subject just useful information for anybody reading the thread that may be contemplating such a passage.

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How about southwold for the week Baz, hardly any problem with the language, no problem fuel and great fish and chips, what more could you ask of a cruising holiday.

Seriously though would love to be coming with you, and it is still a long way off yet, so who knows.

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