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Diesel Fuel: EU Action

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 18 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether a mechanism exists for EU member states to seek a temporary derogation from the EU sulphur specification for diesel fuel; and if he will make a statement. (280156)

EU requirements on the quality of petrol and diesel are defined in the Fuel Quality Directive 98/70/EC as amended. Article 7 of this directive permits member states to apply for a derogation from these requirements for up to 6 months in the event that a sudden change to the supply of crude oil or petroleum products makes it difficult for refineries to comply.

We understand this derogation to be intended to accommodate major, unexpected disruptions to oil supplies only. The directive does not contain any other derogations which could be applied in respect of the supply of sulphur-free diesel in the UK.