Sedgwick flags risks around red diesel rule change

Changes being made to remove eligibility for the use of red diesel and rebated biofuels will increase the risk for environmental incidents, hazards and property damage, according to environmental experts at Sedgwick.

The changes, which come into effect on 1st April 2022, will affect vehicles and machinery used in agriculture, horticulture, fish farming and forestry. From that date it will be illegal to put red diesel into the tank of a vehicle or machine that is not entitled to use it.

Graham Hawkins, director of UK Environmental Adjusting at Sedgwick, says: “We expect there will be potential for environmental incidents to occur which is often the case when the handling of fuel takes place. Many businesses will be unaware or have delayed responding to the requirements whilst they can legitimately purchase the lower cost (due to reduced duty) fuel. Many experts are reminding customers but there is cost associated with this necessary work. This may lead to some owners trying to save money by undertaking this work themselves, which could lead to increased risk of incidents, hazards or property damage.”

Otherwise known as gas oil, off-road diesel or ‘tractor diesel’, red diesel is a fuel intended for use other than in road vehicles and is therefore taxed at a lower rate.

Due to its rebated duty rate, there are strict legal requirements about when and how it can be used, which is why it is dyed red to help identify illegal use. Red diesel is typically used for off-road transport, for power generation and for selected commercial heating or burning uses.

The changes will require users to run down the red diesel in the vehicle tanks or other storage tanks and arrangements made for flushing these ready to accept the new (white) diesel deliveries.

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