The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has called on the government to take immediate action in order to combat the issue which has seen €millions being made from illegal sales. FTAI has outlined the enormous financial loss to the Irish Revenue through the use of illicit and washed diesel, saying that as a result the issue is causing huge damage to compliant operators.
During a meeting with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport – Leo Varadkar, FTAI, highlighted the enormity of the problem of the sale of illegal fuel in the Republic of Ireland, asking for the issue to be addressed by government and attention in particular, be drawn to the issue by Minister Noonan the Minister for Finance.
Attending the meeting (on behalf of FTAI and its members), were Tom Wilson, FTA Ireland’s General Manager and Niall Cotton, FTAI President, who both outlined to Minister Varadkar the on-going problem of illegal fuel sales, and asking for an immediate resolution.
The Minister in-turn acknowledged the points raised by the FTAI representatives, who informed him of the growing support from a number of major business organisations calling for rebated diesel (Gas Oil) to remain unmarked which would immediately take away the attraction of removing the dye.
Tom Wilson, FTA Ireland’s General Manger said:
"Unless immediate action is taken by government there will be further damage caused to the compliant operators and failure to deal with this will send out the message that this government is prepared to allow serious criminals to continue making €millions from sales of illegal fuel".
"A scheme to provide farmers and others entitled to use rebated diesel with unmarked product could be developed in the same way as the proposed essential user fuel rebate. The administration of the scheme could be managed through approved and officially registered fuel suppliers as currently required by the Irish Revenue".
Also discussed during the meeting between FTAI and Minister Varadkar was the Road Safety Strategy document for the period 2013-2020 issued by his department , and the undertaking to review the commercial vehicle licensing policy to include Own Account Operators. FTAI welcomed both stating that they should result in a better Road Safety record for goods vehicles in Ireland.
The Association further took the opportunity to greet the Ministers recent announcement permitting certain vehicles to carry an extra two tons of goods and have requested a concession for a small number of companies using vehicles over 4.65m to continue to operate these on specified routes suited to this type of vehicle.
As a conclusion of the meeting, FTA Ireland (FTAI) was pleased to report that the Minister had a clear understanding of the issues affecting operators in the supply chain and logistics industry.
Tom Wilson commented:
"FTA Ireland is pleased that Minister Varadkar showed full support of our efforts to raise the standards of Road Safety through increased levels of compliance, which is being achieved through the Association’s membership accreditation scheme."