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Old 12-23-2013, 07:35 PM   #1
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fuel in northern Europe

Planning ahead for next summer, can someone please explain to me the desk with untaxed fuel in great Britain versus the rest of the eu?

I understand that it is not possible to get untaxed fuel in at least western Europe, but there does seem to be some leeway in GB.

I have also heard that possibly even cheaper fuel than GB can be found in the Shetland Islands.

Any illumination would be great.

And I do understand that situation better than most as I've lived there for 10 years and have visited two or three times per year in the other years for the last 30 years.
At this point out looks like I will be in Norway by August, working my way down to the Netherlands by October 2014.

Richard
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:51 AM   #2
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Hi Richard,
no UK boaters out there?
Well, first you have to know in the EU there is diesel (white) for vehicles (land, water) and “red diesel”, a dyed diesel, for heating and nothing else. The red diesel is minimal taxed, therefore cheaper as the diesel for diesel engines. Yes, you can use red diesel in vehicles, but it is strictly forbidden. Because of the color, the smallest amount of red diesel in a tank will be detected.
For example:
1 liter red diesel is about 1,0 Euro
1 liter diesel is about 1,4 Euro
1 Liter = 0,26 gal (US)


That said, in the UK you can use red diesel for boating and as far as I know you only get red diesel at a UK fuel berth. To bend EU law the boater can choose the percentage for propulsion and the percentage for heating. The maximum is 40 % heating and 60 % propulsion. The part for the propulsion is normal taxed. This system exists only in UK. So the UK diesel is not untaxed, but it is cheaper than anywhere else in the EU.

The other side of the medal is, UK boaters get now and then in troubles on the Continent, like in Belgium, because they were fined using red diesel.

Bottom line, save all fuel invoices consistently, from outside the EU (Norway) and in the EU. This will help in case of an control by the Coastguard, Customs or Police.

Karl
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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Richard

You imply that you are taking Dauntless to Europe. If so, how about some of the details of the planned trip

Marty
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dodo View Post
Hi Richard,
no UK boaters out there?
Well, first you have to know in the EU there is diesel (white) for vehicles (land, water) and “red diesel”, a dyed diesel, for heating and nothing else. The red diesel is minimal taxed, therefore cheaper as the diesel for diesel engines. Yes, you can use red diesel in vehicles, but it is strictly forbidden. Because of the color, the smallest amount of red diesel in a tank will be detected.
For example:
1 liter red diesel is about 1,0 Euro
1 liter diesel is about 1,4 Euro
1 Liter = 0,26 gal (US)


That said, in the UK you can use red diesel for boating and as far as I know you only get red diesel at a UK fuel berth. To bend EU law the boater can choose the percentage for propulsion and the percentage for heating. The maximum is 40 % heating and 60 % propulsion. The part for the propulsion is normal taxed. This system exists only in UK. So the UK diesel is not untaxed, but it is cheaper than anywhere else in the EU.

The other side of the medal is, UK boaters get now and then in troubles on the Continent, like in Belgium, because they were fined using red diesel.

Bottom line, save all fuel invoices consistently, from outside the EU (Norway) and in the EU. This will help in case of an control by the Coastguard, Customs or Police.

Karl
Thanks Karl,

Actually I had heard this before from my Dutch friends, but sometimes I worry that something is lost in translation. My understanding, is that since i am not an EU citizen, I am not subject to the $$police. But will confirm that.

I will end up getting to the Faeroes and Shetlands with relatively empty tanks, so I am trying to plan on the best fuel stops, as I want to be in the Netherlands with full tanks for the winter.

Richard
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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Richard

You imply that you are taking Dauntless to Europe. If so, how about some of the details of the planned trip

Marty
Marty,

I am in the process of writing a summary of the last year and future plans.
I also want to start a web site and blog. That should be up and running by spring.

Please pm your email (or anyone one else who is interested) and I will include you on my initial mailing.

I will probably post an excerpt of it here on TF also.

Richard
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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There is no point repeating Wxx3 comments which are as accurate as I understand them. If you were coming from the southwest rather than the north you will find cheap diesel in the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Alderney). The tides are impressive and it would be worth getting an Admiralty tide atlas with tide velocity and direction by the hour.
Best of Luck.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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Whoops, I meant Dodo rather than Wxx3.
Sorry
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jc49 View Post
There is no point repeating Wxx3 comments which are as accurate as I understand them. If you were coming from the southwest rather than the north you will find cheap diesel in the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Alderney). The tides are impressive and it would be worth getting an Admiralty tide atlas with tide velocity and direction by the hour.
Best of Luck.
Thanks. JC.
That is something to consider, as I will be making my way south from southern Norway in early September (current plans, subject to many changes), so for cheaper fuel, it may be worth my while to head west to the channel islands before winter.

Richard
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:06 AM   #9
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Hi Richard,

when you come from Norway, you must not cruise all down the English Channel for cheaper fuel. Make a stop at the Island of Helgoland, the only offshore Island of Germany and a duty free area. Here you can top up the tanks with diesel and the bar with liquor. At the bunker station you get the “white” diesel, so no problems! Today’s price is € 1,06 / liter for a minimum of 500 liters. Here is the link.

From Helgoland it is only about 60 SM to the Netherlands. Enter the Netherlands at Delfzijl and cruise the inland waterways to your destination. Maybe the beautiful countryside and villages are a welcome relief after all the water around.

But all depends of your itinerary.

By the way, do you know Le Reve a Kadey-Krogan cruising Europe?

Karl
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:15 AM   #10
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Today’s price is € 1,06 / liter for a minimum of 500 liters.
Nothing cheap about Europe. In the US $0.85 per liter is the current norm.
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Old 02-14-2014, 06:19 AM   #11
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Hi,
I filled my tanks with dyed (green) diesel here in Norway twice last year. Paid Norwegian Krone 10.00 per liter both times. (Approx. $1.60 per liter at current exchange rate). Dyed diesel is often referred to as “Tax Free”, even if it is not really Tax Free. It should really be referred to as Reduced Tax diesel.
Over here, dyed diesel is legal for about anything but street legal vehicles.
Dyed diesel can also be obtained in some marinas in Sweden. This is only available for “Ships”. A Ship is defined as being more than 12 meters LOA AND 4 meters wide (approx. 40 by 13 foot). You will need official ship documents that display more than 12 by 4 meters to be able to top her up with this dyed diesel.
Like Karl said, The Channel Islands is also a source for reduced tax diesel. We topped up our tanks in Guernsey on our way from Portugal to Norway. As far as I can remember it was un-dyed.
I have read horror stories about Customs in Holland inspecting vessels for dyed diesel. People are made to pay hefty fines, dispose of all tanks contents, and clean their tanks before they are allowed to fill her up again. Make sure you keep receipts for all dyed diesel purchases in Norway before entering the EU (Norway is not an EU member). This way you can prove you have legally bought dyed diesel.
PM me if you need more local Norway / Sweden info.
Happy sailing!
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