CA Guidance on changes to use of Marine Diesel in Northern Ireland

With effect from 1 October 2021, the UK Government has confirmed it will become illegal in Northern Ireland to refuel private pleasure craft with red (marine) diesel in any tank used for engine propulsion.

The Cruising Association, through our Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS), has been keeping abreast of the situation in order to advise yacht and motor cruisers on the new protocols and steps to take to ensure compliance.

This change is to meet the UK’s obligations under the UK-EU withdrawal agreement. From 1 October 2021 diesel-powered private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland must only use fully duty-paid diesel for propulsion purposes, as red diesel and biodiesel or bioblend are no longer permitted. The official UK Government document setting out the fuel duty changes is available on the UK Government website.

From 1 October 2021, HM Revenue and Customs may carry out checks to determine if the correct fuel is being used in private pleasure craft.


From 1 October 2021, different types of pleasure craft are affected in different ways, depending on whether the pleasure craft:

  • Has a single fuel tank
  • Has a separate fuel tank for non-propulsion (heating, lighting, power)
  • Is a houseboat
  • Is travelling between countries and jurisdictions on or after 1 October 2021


Marine diesel in Northern Ireland


RATS has reviewed the UK Government document 'Fuel Duty changes for private pleasure craft in Northern Ireland that use diesel' and has prepared a detailed CA Guidance Document*, which is available here.

*Please note that the CA Guidance Document has been approved by HM Revenue and Customs.

28 September 2021


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