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Regulating Australian fuel quality

The Australian Government regulates the quality of petrol and diesel sold in Australia. Poor fuel quality can damage the environment, vehicles, and our health.

Our fuel quality standards seek to:

  • reduce fuel pollutants and emissions
  • facilitate the adoption of better engine and emission control technologies
  • improve engine operation

The Australian fuel industry and fuel suppliers must meet legislative requirements:

Our department, together with the National Measurement Institute:

  • sets fuel quality standards and labelling requirements
  • assesses requests to temporarily vary fuel standards
  • monitors fuel standards compliance

We are reviewing the fuel quality standards to improve the quality of fuel supplied in Australia by 2024. This review will seek to create standards that are aligned with international standards.

Consumer complaints

The Act doesn’t cover consumer protections. Our department cannot assist with compensation claims or other alleged consumer issues, like damages or loss caused by poor fuel quality.

State and territory governments are responsible for consumer complaints and compensation claims resulting from fuel that:

  • doesn’t meet the fuel quality standards
  • is adulterated
  • is contaminated

Contact your consumer affairs regulator if you have purchased fuel that you believe has damaged your vehicle:

Making a fuel quality complaint under the national fuel monitoring program

You can contact us if you suspect fuel:

  • has been adulterated
  • doesn’t meet the standards
  • has damaged your vehicle

We consider your complaints in our fuel monitoring program. Contact your state or territory consumer affairs regulator for compensation claims.

Email FuelQuality@measurement.gov.au to make a fuel quality complaint. Please include details about the date, supplier, location and fuel type. We keep your information private.

National fuel monitoring program

Under the Act we monitor fuel quality at a range of sites and locations across the national fuel supply chain. We also monitor fuel suppliers who have received consumer complaints.

Fuel inspectors

Our inspectors may visit a fuel supplier at any time, and on any day of the week to:

  • sample and test fuel
  • assess fuel delivery documentation
  • inspect fuel labels
  • check any other requirements under the Act

The National Measurement Institute also regulates the wholesale and retail sale of liquid fuels. Read about trade measurement inspector responsibilities for selling liquid fuels.

We cannot share information about fuel monitoring activities, including fuel testing results. We do have authority under the Act to share this information with other government agencies. This assists with administrating and enforcing taxation and consumer protection laws.

Fuel quality standards and labelling requirements

The fuel quality standards apply Australia-wide. States and territories can set their own standards in addition to the Australian standards.

The standards for each fuel type are described in determinations. The determinations outline parameter specifications, compliance timeframes (if applicable), and test methods for compliance purposes.

Petrol

The petrol fuel standard describes the parameters of our two most common grades of petrol, Research Octane Number (RON) 91 and RON 95.

Some additives are not included in this standard:

  • Ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE)
  • Tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME)
  • Ethyl tertiary amyl ether (ETAE)

Potential importers or manufacturers of these (and other) additives should contact the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme to determine if the additive is allowed to be used in Australia.

Diesel

The diesel fuel standard describes automotive diesel, renewable diesel and synthetic diesel.

Biodiesel

The biodiesel fuel standard describes diesel derived from plant and/or animal matter.

Autogas

The autogas fuel standard describes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) suitable for motor vehicles.

Ethanol E10

Petrol sold in Australia may contain up to 10 per cent ethanol (‘E10’).

Ethanol E85

The Ethanol E85 fuel standard describes a fuel blend consisting of 70–85 per cent ethanol and 15–30 per cent petrol.

Fuel importers, producers and suppliers annual statements

Under the Act, you must complete an annual statement if:

  • you produce and supply fuel in Australia during the calendar year
  • you import and supply fuel in Australia during the calendar year
  • your fuel is subject to a fuel standard
  • you’re a constitutional corporation or a Commonwealth entity, or you supply fuel in the course of constitutional trade or commerce

Submit your statement

  • Email fuel.policy@industry.gov.au
  • Write to: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Fuel Policy Section, GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

Applications to vary fuel quality standards

Section 13 of the Act allows the Minister (or delegate) to approve the supply of a fuel that varies from the standard. The variation can only apply in specific instances and for a limited time only.

Read about applying for a fuel quality standard variation

Find all approvals granted under section 13 of the Act.

Read more

Contact us

  • Email fuel.policy@industry.gov.au
  • Phone +61 2 6213 6000
  • Write to us at: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, Fuel Policy Section, GPO Box 2013, Canberra ACT 2601

See also

Last updated: 21 May 2021

Content ID: 66373