New Red Diesel laws on the horizon
Farmers and contractors across the UK have been warned by the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) about the use of agricultural equipment for non-agricultural work. Although red diesel will still be permitted for farm work use, from April 2022 it will no longer be legal on construction sites.
The NAAC recognised that many farmers generate additional income by using machinery for construction work. Jill Hewitt, NAAC Chief Executive has voiced that unless machinery is being used for farm work, roadside hedge and verge maintenance, snow clearance, gritting or flood assistance red diesel must not be used for any other instances.
It has been stated that any construction or amenity work such as sports field mowing or trimming hedges around car parks must be carried out using white diesel, Jill Hewitt explains.
Need for clarity
“We are asking HMRC for greater clarity on whether switching from red to white diesel is acceptable,” Ms Hewitt said.
The latest guidance from HMRC states that users must remove all traces of red diesel from the tank and filters. But this is known to be extremely difficult, and the NAAC is seeking clarity, she added. Ms Hewitt has also stressed that HMRC had repeatedly pointed out if a vehicle is taxed as agricultural use it should only be used for farm work.
At the UK Budget 2020, the UK government announced that it would remove the entitlement to use red diesel and rebated biodiesel from most sectors from April 2022 – excluding agriculture – to help meet its climate change and air quality targets.
The tax changes will ensure that most users of red diesel use fuel taxed at the standard rate for diesel from April 2022, like motorists, which it says “more fairly reflects the harmful impact of the emissions they produce”.
The government’s new red diesel rules are available here;