FUEL suppliers are asking plant owners engaged in forestry to show 'official HMRC documents' before selling red diesel at rebated prices - despite no such paperwork existing. 

That's according to two leading trade bodies, who say the confusion is causing delays to work where the discounted fuel can still be used. 

Blaming the misunderstanding on the recent law changes - which came into effect at the start of the month - the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) and UK & Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) have today called for clarity and reminded suppliers the rebated rules still apply to the likes of forestry, agriculture and fish farming. 

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The groups have published a statement, which they say can be shown as proof of the sectors' continuing status. 

Callum Mackintosh, President of SPOA, said: “By publishing this statement and allowing it to be used as justification for purchasing red diesel, the SPOA and UKIFDA fervently hope that this will clear up any confusion and crucially, will mean that there will be no disruption to contracted work for plant operators.

“In March, we published guidance relating to the new legislation on red diesel and it was approved by HMRC. It is therefore accurate.

"For the avoidance of doubt, HMRC will not provide any official letters to individual businesses regarding their entitlement to use red diesel but hopefully our joint statement brides that gap.”

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As of April 1, red diesel's use has been limited to certain types of vehicles, machines, and appliances when the fuel is used for specific purposes only. This means that most sectors that currently use it for off-road purposes lost the entitlement and now have to use white diesel.


However, while forestry clung onto its rebated status, sawmills did not.