Ever since the Belgian authorities began inspecting the fuel tanks of visiting yachts and imposing fines on those found to contain red diesel so the British boater has stayed away.
Nieuwpoort marina for example has reported 40 percent fewer British yachts this year, pointing out that this has a negative impact on the local economy.
Britons are still sailing to France and the Netherlands even though local boats are not allowed to use lower taxed red diesel.
This is because in those countries they permit British boats to carry the coloured fuel so long as it was purchased in Great Britain.
Now after extensive lobbying by the marine industry in Belgium the country’s Finance Minister Koen Geens has asked Belgian customs to carry out “pragmatic checks” on red diesel in yachts.
Translated from euro speak, this means that customs should refrain from issuing fines to British yachtsmen whose tanks contain red diesel fuel if they can prove they filled up in the UK before crossing the channel.