Photo of Showmen's Guild Management Commitee January 2022

Changes in use of rebated fuel (red diesel) from April

All the equipment that Showmen use in operating fairs and circuses, on site and not on the public highway, is covered for use of red diesel both now and continuing beyond 1 April 2022.

The government recognised that fairs and circuses provide important entertainment that would otherwise be unaffordable for Showmen to present, or for the public to enjoy visiting, without the reduced tax rated fuel.

We are concerned that our continued entitlement may be less recognised than some of the other sectors such as agriculture and Showmen may need to reassure fuel suppliers, to avoid any disruption to supply. Key points are:

•           The Finance Bill 2021 will amend HODA (The Hydrocarbons Fuel Duty Act 1979) to replace references to ‘road vehicles’ with ‘excepted machines’

•           A new Schedule 1A will specify which vehicles and machines are ‘excepted machines’

•           These machines will be defined by reference to the type of machine and the purposes for which they are being used

•           Only ‘excepted machines’ will be able to use red diesel and rebated biodiesel.

In our case this means:

“Travelling fairs and circuses

A travelling fair or travelling circus is one that can be dismantled at least once per year and can be transported from place to place.

You can use rebated fuel in machines and appliances to:

•           power rides

•           provide electricity and heating for caravan accommodation

You can use rebated fuel in a mowing machine or unlicensed vehicle.”

The guidance on ‘Special Vehicles’ includes:

•           machines or appliances that are not a vehicle or vessel

•           non-road mobile machinery

•           vehicles not kept or used on public roads, which you have made a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN), if required, to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

We are now looking to understand specifically what Showmen need to provide to red diesel suppliers (‘Registered Dealers in Controlled Oils’ – RDCOs) from 1 April 2022 to prove they have continued entitlement.

Central Office is urging all members to talk to their own red diesel suppliers and to do so now, ahead of the 1 April deadline, to ensure continuous supply.

Photo: The Showmen’s Guild Management Committee 2022. Image: Desmond FitzGerald

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