Spain ramps up HGV checks to detect illegal diesel usage

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The Spanish Civil Guard has said it has increased HGV checks focused on the detection of illegal diesel. It adds that is looking for lorries using B-type diesel fuel, which is illegal for trucks but legal for agricultural vehicles and industrial machinery.

Spain ramps up HGV checks to detect illegal diesel usage
Photo: Spanish Civil Guard

During such inspections, officers take a fuel sample, then with the naked eye, they are able to assess whether it is legal diesel or not. The B diesel fuel is of course colored red.

Samples taken from vehicles are deposited in sealed and labeled containers for later analysis, and sent with the appropriate notification to the Customs and Excise Office of the State Tax Administration, reports the Spanish road transport association Fenadismer.

The organisation points out that high fuel prices may tempt hauliers to use cheaper agricultural fuel (exempt from certain taxes) in order to reduce operating costs. However, the fine for such a practice in Spain is up to €12,000.

The use of B diesel fuel is only allowed in agricultural, horticultural, livestock and forestry machinery, certain boats and approved special vehicles. It may also be used in transport vehicles, but only to fuel the refrigeration equipment in refrigerated trailers, says Fenadismer.

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