Detailed specifications and performance standards for road fuels are specified in industry standards set in Europe through the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).
In addition to the standards for petrol and diesel (EN 228 and EN 590 respectively), standards for ethanol used for blending in petrol (EN 15376) and for Fatty Acid Methyl Ester used as pure biodiesel or for blending in diesel (EN 14214) have already been adopted. Key environmental parameters for petrol and diesel are regulated in the EU fuel quality directive (98/70/EC as amended) and transposed in the UK by the Motor Fuels (Composition and Content) Regulations 1999. The Government and their European partners are currently considering a proposal by the European Commission to increase the level of ethanol in petrol permitted by the fuel quality directive.
The Government are also keen that mandatory sustainability standards should be applied to all biofuels and are pressing for the inclusion of robust sustainability criteria in the relevant European Union legislation. The Government's intention is that only those biofuels meeting certain minimum environmental standards should qualify for credits under the Road Transport Fuels Obligation.