Red Diesel Use

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Red Diesel Use

It is important that users of red diesel understand the implications of its use on their business and operations as using red diesel illegally can lead to severe penalties. JMW’s road transport solicitors can help you and your business to stay compliant.

If you have been accused of using red diesel illegally, our solicitors can advise and represent you during any prosecution proceedings to achieve the best outcome.

To speak to a solicitor if you have concerns of your use of red diesel, or if you have been accused of illegal usage, contact JMW today by calling 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back. 

How JMW Can Help

Early planning is crucial when it comes to red diesel use to ensure compliance with legislation. Our team is vastly experienced in providing assistance, advice and representation to both businesses and individuals in relation to red diesel use.

We provide a high-quality service and offer pragmatic legal advice and solutions to the problems faced by operators, transport managers, professionals, and other industry players. Poor compliance with regard to transport can not only attract the attention of regulators, but also lead to potential criminal prosecutions.

Our solicitors are familiar with both the regulatory areas and the criminal procedures. Often when one set of criminal proceedings end, the regulatory process starts. It is the wide nature of our expertise that allows us to offer a full service to those in the transport sector and devise commercially sensible and industry-specific solutions when a problem arises.

What are the Rules Surrounding Red Diesel Use?

On 1st April 2022, the rules in respect of red diesel changed somewhat drastically, narrowing the circumstances in which the use of red diesel might be permitted, and introducing a two-stage test that considers:

  1. The type of ‘excepted machine’ using the red diesel
  2. The actual use of the ‘excepted machine’ that is hoping to run on red diesel

Red diesel, as many will be aware, is essentially diesel that is subject to a tax rebate, and is identified from regular diesel (‘white diesel’) by a red colouring solvent. Red diesel must not be used as a fuel unless it is used in an ‘excepted machine’ as defined in specific legislation.

Examples of ‘excepted machines’ include:

  • Agricultural vehicles
  • Special vehicles
  • Unlicensed vehicles
  • Trains
  • Vessels
  • Mowing machines

There are very specific definitions in respect of the above list, and a vehicle must meet those definitions by virtue of both its design and the purposes for which it is used. The above list is simply a summary.

The fact that the different uses of the same vehicle may be the difference between the lawful and unlawful use of red diesel means there is an obligation to operators to make sure they know if and when they might need to flush their vehicle tanks.

What Powers Do HMRC Have in Relation to Red Diesel Use?

When HMRC officers are investigating and enforcing the appropriate use of red diesel, their powers include the ability to:

  • Examine any vehicle and its fuel
  • Require the vehicle’s owner or driver to open the fuel tank for inspection
  • Require the vehicle’s owner to produce documentation relating to the vehicle
  • Enter and inspect any premises, apart from private houses, to inspect, test and sample fuel
  • Ask those concerned with the sale, purchase or disposal of rebated fuel for their documentation

What are the Penalties for Illegal Red Diesel Use?

The penalties for using red diesel illegally can be severe. Vehicles found to be using red diesel illegally can be seized by the authorities, which the vehicle owner will need to pay a fee for its release. Also, a fine for the offences may also need to be paid, which is up to £250 for each offence, along with an amount to cover the duty owed.

Serious offences for illegal red diesel use can result in an unlimited fine to the operator and a prison sentence of up to two years.

Talk to Us

If you are concerned about the changes to the rules surrounding red diesel, or your own fuel usage, speak to the road transport solicitors at JMW today to find out how we can help you and your business. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back at a convenient time.

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