Brussels’ fuel stations selling cheap ‘red’ diesel illegally
Belgian Federal Finance Minister, Johan Van Overtveldt (N-VA) is going to take reprisals against the use of the so-called ‘red’ diesel as fuel for cars. The increased diesel prices are one of the frustrations of the ‘yellow jacket’ demonstrations in Belgium and in France and, according to the news site, Bruzz, some gas stations have found a creative solution.
Illegal car fuel
They’re offering drivers the possibility to fill up their cars with the so-called ‘red’ diesel, which is cheaper. Red diesel actually is intended for heating but it is cheaper since excises on it are much lower. Composition of the red diesel is hardly any different from ‘normal’ diesel (except for some additives) but it’s illegal to use it as a car fuel, with the exception of some tractors or other heavy machinery.
According to Bruzz, some gas stations in Brussels even are advertising the illegal fuel, so they’re inciting drivers to fraud. The exploiters of the gas stations don’t see any problem in it, “since they’re not responsible for the actual use of the fuel”, they say. “Fuel prices are so high that people are willing to take the risk.”
500 euro minimum fine
There is a real risk for being caught, though. This year the Federal Public Service for Finance has already registered 763 cases of red diesel, mostly in trucks. Minimum fine for it is 500 euro.
On Sunday, Minister Van Overtveldt, said he has been discussing the matter with customs and he also announced customs actions “in the hours to come”. There are several measures to interfere: the concerned fuel pumps could be sealed or there could be more severe fines or even criminal prosecution.