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REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Seventh annual report (Reporting year 2008)

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/* COM/2011/0116 final */ REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Seventh annual report (Reporting year 2008)


[pic] | EUROPEAN COMMISSION |

Brussels, 11.3.2011

COM(2011) 116 final

REPORT FROM THE COMMIS SION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Seventh annual report (Reporting year 2008)

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Seventh annual report (Reporting year 2008)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Directive 98/70/EC[1] sets minimum specifications on health and environmental grounds for fuels to be used for vehicles equipped with positive-ignition and compression-ignition engines. Fuel quality is environmentally important because it affects engine pollutant emissions and thus air quality. It also affects the ease and cost with which desired pollutant and greenhouse emission limits can be achieved by manufacturers. Directive 2003/17/EC[2], amending Directive 98/70/EC, requires a further reduction of the sulphur content of petrol and diesel fuels. 2008 is the last year during which fuels with a sulphur content in excess of 10ppm will comply with the Directive.

Non-respect of the fuel specification can lead to increased emissions (for example excess oxygenates can increase NOx emissions) and might damage engine and exhaust after-treatment systems (for example excess sulphur damaging catalysts) leading to higher air pollutant emissions. In order to ensure compliance with the fuel quality standards mandatory under this Directive, Member States are required to introduce fuel quality monitoring systems.

Article 8 of Directive 98/70/EC requires the Commission to publish annually, a report on fuel quality in the Member States. This seventh Commission Report summarises Member States’ submissions on the quality of petrol and diesel, as well as the volumes sold, for the year 2008. All Member States except Luxembourg, which had already failed to deliver a report in 2007, submitted national reports for 2008.

The quality of Member State’s monitoring system design, level of compliance with limit values, and information provided in report submissions is still improving. The Commission will continue monitoring compliance with the requirements laid down in the Directive and propose appropriate and proportionate action where necessary.

As noted in 2006 and 2007, although sulphur-free fuels[3] are accounting for an increasing proportion of fuel grades and sales across Member States, they are still not always labelled at the pump. There are still problems in timely delivery of reports. 14 Member States submitted their reports after the deadline, although 10 of these submitted their reports less than 1 month late. Submissions were received 7 months late from Malta; 5 months late from Germany; 4 months late from the UK; and 3 months late from Spain. As in 2007, Luxembourg did not submit a report in 2008.

Fuel quality monitoring in 2008 showed that the specifications for petrol and diesel laid down in Directive 98/70/EC are in general met and again few exceedances were identified. For petrol the main parameters where exceedances were identified were research/motor octane number (RON/MON)[4], summer vapour pressure[5] and distillation/evaporation at 100/150°C[6]. There was also an increase in the number of samples exceeding sulphur content limit values. For diesel the main parameters where exceedances were identified were sulphur content, distillation 95% point and cetane number.

As exceedances are relatively rare and most Member States take action to remove non-compliant fuel from sale, the Commission is not aware of any negative reprecussions on vehicle emissions or engine functioning due to these exceedances. However, the Commission urges Member States to continue to take action to ensure full compliance so that such problems do not arise in the future. Detail of actions taken by Member States, where available, is given in the individual country chapters of the detailed report for 2008[7]. The Commission will continue monitoring compliance with the fuel quality requirements laid down in the Directive.

Low sulphur content helps the abatement of air pollution and the introduction of new engine technology. Average sulphur content fell in 2008 and is substantially below the level reported in 2004, as shown in Table 1. This was the largest fall since 2005, when low-sulphur fuels[8] were made mandatory and sulphur-free fuels were introduced across the EU. 2008 is the final year that low-sulphur fuels will comply with the Directive. Therefore the fall in average sulphur content may have been the result of Member States preparing for the 2009 limit of <10ppm.

Table 1: Annual trend in average sulphur content in petrol and diesel fuels

EU | Average Sulphur Content, ppm | EU15 | EU12 |

Some Member States have submitted reports late. Malta, Germany, the UK and Spain all submitted their reports more than 3 months late. They are encouraged to report on time to avoid undermining the efforts of others Several Member States do not fulfil sufficient sampling numbers for all fuels or are not sampling in sufficient numbers at refuelling stations (as opposed to depot/refinery). Any such should be additional to the minimum number of samples required at refuelling stations. Where Member States use their own National Systems, it should be fully described to verify whether it complies with the European Standard. This description should show the monitoring system’s equivalency in statistical confidence to EN 14274: 2003. This has still not been provided in many cases for 2004-2008 monitoring and should be provided in future. Where EN 14274 Statistical Model C is used, Member States should present a clear rationale for its use. For several Member States there appears to be a good case for using Models A or B instead. Sulphur-free fuels should be clearly labelled to ensure that consumers have the opportunity to choose them. In some Member States sulphur content at fuel pumps is not clearly labelled. This should no longer be necessary from 2009 as all fuels will then be required to be sulphur-free. Given that 2008 is the last year during which fuels with a sulphur content of more than 10ppm should be available within the EU, it should have been possible for Member States to derive separate sales and sampling data by sulphur content. However, some Member States failed to do this. Member State reports are assessed according to seasonal periods to ensure comparability for EU-wide reporting. Where a Member State has chosen to utilise a different seasonal period to that specified, appropriate information should be provided in the national Annex within the Fuel Quality Monitoring report. |

4. 2008 Reporting

4.1 Fuel Qualities and Volumes

All petrol and diesel sales in the EU are now of low-sulphur and sulphur-free fuels. Of all petrol sold, 55% was low-sulphur and 45% sulphur-free (<10 ppm). Of all diesel sold the equivalent split was 49% and 51%.

The variety of RON and sulphur grade fuels available across the EU decreased in 2005 with the new mandatory limit of <50ppm sulphur. The majority of petrol sales in 2008 comprised RON 95 (84%, with 46% low sulphur and 38% sulphur-free), see Figure 1 and the table in the Annex for full details by Member State.

Figure 1: 2008 EU Fuel sales proportions by fuel type (%)

Petrol Sales | 2008 | Diesel Sales | 2008 |

[pic] | [pic] |

Fuel type | Fuel type | % |

5 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<50 ppm S) | 49.0% |

6 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<10 ppm S) | 35.6% |

7 | Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 | 0.0% |

8 | Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<50 ppm S) | 5.1% |

9 | Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<10 ppm S) | 2.6% |

10 | Unleaded petrol RON>=98 | 0.0% |

11 | Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<50 ppm S) | 0.4% |

12 | Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<10 ppm S) | 4.7% |

Similarly to 2001 - 2007, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom saw the largest fuel sales in 2008 (Figure 3). Diesel sales are dominant in almost all Member States. However, the relative sales of petrol and diesel vary significantly.

Sales in EU-12 Member States comprised 14.0% and 15.8% of total EU petrol and diesel sales, respectively (a marked increase on 12.4% and 12.6%, respectively, in 2007).

In 2008 the majority (14) of Member States reported availability of 2 petrol fuel grades within their territory, whilst Bulgaria, Ireland and Malta reported sales of only one petrol fuel grade. Distinction between grades has mainly been a result of different octane levels (RON category). Some 16 Member States reported sales of only one diesel fuel grade in 2008. See Figure 4 for more detail.

Member States do not have to fully switch to sulphur-free fuels until 2009. However, in 2008, 8 Member States reported only sulphur-free petrol fuel sales and 8 Member States reported only sulphur-free diesel fuel sales. In Germany sulphur-free diesel has been available since 2003 and in Sweden virtually all diesel has been sulphur-free since 1999.

The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia all have average fuel sulphur contents below 2009 (<10ppm) limits, however not all report 100% sulphur-free fuel availability, as shown in Figure 7. In these countries it appears that fuel sales may be sulphur-free, although they are not labelled as such. In addition, some Member States have not provided sufficient information to judge whether sulphur-free fuels are available “on an appropriately balanced geographical basis” , as required by the Directive.

Figure 2: Fuel Quality Monitoring sampling rate across the EU in 2008 (average number of samples per fuel grade)

Average Number Samples / Fuel Grade | [pic] |

Petrol | Diesel |

Figure 3: National fuel sales in 2008 by fuel type across the EU (million litres)

Fuel Sales, million litres | [pic] |

Total Petrol | Total Diesel |

Figure 4: Number of fuel grades available nationally by fuel type across the EU in 2008

Number of Fuel Grades Available | [pic] |

Number of Petrol Grades | Number of Diesel Grades |

Figure 5: National sales of low sulphur petrol grades across the EU (%) in 2008

% National Petrol Sales | [pic] |

Petrol | Diesel |

4.2 Compliance with Directive 98/70/EC in 2008

Table 2 summarises the compliance of Member States with Directive 98/70/EC in 2008. It reports both the results of the analysis of samples against limit values and the compliance of the reporting format and content. As in 2001 – 2007, some Member States provided incomplete and / or late information and this affected the quality of the compliance assessment. The Commission will therefore work with Member States in order to improve their reporting where necessary.

Pursuant to Article 9a, it is the responsibility of the Member States to determine the penalties applicable to breaches of the Directive. Details of any action taken with regard to limit value non-compliance are included where provided in the individual country chapters of the detailed report for 2008[11].

4 Member States are in complete compliance with limit values for both petrol and diesel for all samples (compared to 7 in 2007). 18 Member States also provided complete reporting across the range of parameters specified for monitoring in the Directive. Belgium undertakes more extensive sampling than other Member States. As this skews the results and hides trends in the EU as a whole, Belgian exceedances and samples are excluded from the analysis of exceedances reported below.

For petrol, 5 Member States reported that all samples were fully compliant with Directive 98/70/EC (compared to 9 in 2007). The main parameters of concern were again research/motor octane number (RON/MON, 33 – a decrease on 68 in 2007), summer vapour pressure (DVPE, 101 – an increase on 43 in 2007) and distillation - evaporation at 100/150°C (13 samples – similar to 2007). There were also 34 sulphur content samples found to be out of specification with Directive limits, compared to only 5 in 2007.

The number and proportion of non-compliant petrol samples increased in 2008 for the EU-15 but remained fairly constant for the EU-12. In EU-15 Member States, the proportion of samples exceeding limit values increased from 1.0% in 2007 to 1.6% in 2008. This increase is primarily attributable to more samples exceeding limit values for summer vapour pressure and sulphur content. In EU-12 Member States, the absolute numbers of samples exceeding limit values increased slightly in 2008 but more samples were taken. As a result, the proportion of samples exceeding limit values decreased from around 3.5% in 2007 to 3% in 2008. There was a large decrease in samples that exceeded MON/RON limit values, but a corresponding increase in those exceeding summer vapour pressure limits.

For diesel, 11 Member States reported that all diesel samples were compliant with Directive 98/70/EC (compared to 14 in 2007). The parameters of concern were sulphur content (31 samples), distillation 95% point (23 samples) and cetane number (4 samples).

In EU-15 Member States, limit value exceedances increased again in 2008. Around 0.3% of samples exceeded limit values, the highest proportion since monitoring began but below that in EU-12 Member States or that seen for petrol. EU-12 Member States maintained a similar level of sulphur content non-compliance to that in 2006 and 2007. However, an increased number of samples exceeded distillation limit values. The proportion of samples exceeding limit values remained constant at just over 1%, as the number of samples taken increased.

Table 2: Summary of Member State compliance with 98/70/EC for 2008 reporting.

Member State | Limit value non-compliance(1) (95% confidence limits) (Non-compliant samples / Total samples) | Incomplete reporting (Number of parameters not measured / Total) | Late report (Due by 30/6/2009) (2) | Notes |

Petrol | Diesel | Petrol | Diesel |

5. CONCLUSIONS

Fuel quality is environmentally important because it affects engine pollutant emissions and thus air quality as well as the ease and cost with which pollutant and greenhouse gas emission limits can be achieved by manufacturers. The monitoring of fuel quality in 2008 shows that the specifications for petrol and diesel laid down in Directive 98/70/EC are in general met and very few exceedances were identified. As exceedances are relatively rare and most Member States take action to remove non-compliant fuel from sale, the Commission is not aware of any negative reprecussions on vehicle emissions or engine functioning due to these exceedances. However, the Commission urges Member States to continue to take action to ensure full compliance so that such problems do not arise in the future. The Commission will continue monitoring compliance with the fuel quality requirements laid down in the Directive and propose appropriate and proportionate action where necessary.

Average sulphur content fell in 2008 and is substantially below the level reported in 2004. This was the largest fall since 2005, when low-sulphur fuels were made mandatory and sulphur-free fuels were introduced across the EU. 2008 is the final year that low-sulphur fuels will comply with the Directive. Therefore the fall in average sulphur content may have been the result of Member States preparing for the 2009 limit of <10ppm.

However in a number of Member States sulphur-free fuels are still not always labelled properly at the pump. This may have delayed the introduction of vehicles using technology requiring sulphur-free fuels before full mandatory introduction in 2009. Without labelling, consumers can not choose these fuels and are less likely to utilise technology requiring sulphur-free fuel. This undermines the value of having fuels meeting this criterion available. As a result, the full potential offered for reductions in CO2 from the road transport sector may not have been realised. Also, limited information has been provided by Member States on the geographical availability of sulphur-free fuels; most Member States simply stated that they were widely available, but provided no supplementary information to provide a measure of the geographical availability. However, this should no longer be an issue in 2009 when sulphur-free fuels will become mandatory.

The fuel quality monitoring systems established at national level differ considerably and require further uniformity in order to provide transparent and comparable results. The implementation of Directive 2003/17/EC has led to improved quality of reporting as it requires Member States to report on monitoring in accordance to the new European Standard, EN 14274, or with systems of equivalent confidence. Where Member States do not report according to EN 14274 format, justification for this must be provided.

ANNEX: 2008 EU fuel sales by fuel type (million litres)

ID |Million litres |Austria |Belgium |Denmark |Finland |France |Germany |Greece |Ireland |Italy |Luxembourg |Netherlands |Portugal |Spain |Sweden |UK |EU15 |EU15 | | | Fuel grade |AT |BE |DK |FI |FR |DE |EL |IE |IT |LU |NL |PT |ES |SE |UK |EU15 |% | |1 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |2 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<50 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |3 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<10 ppm S) |420 |- |488 |- |- |2,495 |- |- |- |0 |- |- |- |- |- |3,404 |3.0% | |4 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |5 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<50 ppm S) |20 |44 |- |- |9,841 |- |4,767 |1,533 |12,168 |- |- |- |7,553 |- |21,255 |57,181 |49.6% | |6 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<10 ppm S) |1,980 |1,461 |- |2,176 |- |24,560 |- |817 |1,850 |385 |5,426 |- |- |4,713 |- |43,367 |37.6% | |7 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |8 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<50 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |- |- |345 |- |- |- |- |1,786 |- |- |- |2,131 |1.8% | |9 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |1,846 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |1,460 |3,306 |2.9% | |10 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |11 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<50 ppm S) |- |2 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |2 |0.0% | |12 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<10 ppm S) |65 |463 |7 |171 |2,484 |785 |379 |- |- |100 |142 |228 |960 |198 |- |5,982 |5.2% | | |Petrol (regular) | 0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0.0% | | |Petrol (<50 ppm sulphur) | 20 |46 |0 |0 |9,841 |0 |5,111 |1,533 |12,168 |0 |0 |1,786 |7,553 |0 |21,255 |59,314 |51.4% | | |Petrol (<10 ppm sulphur) | 2,465 |1,923 |2,341 |2,347 |2,484 |27,840 |379 |817 |1,850 |485 |5,568 |228 |960 |4,911 |1,460 |56,059 |48.6% | | |Total Petrol | 2,485 |1,970 |2,341 |2,347 |12,325 |27,840 |5,490 |2,350 |14,018 |485 |5,568 |2,015 |8,513 |4,911 |22,715 |115,373 |100.0% | |13 | Diesel | - |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |14 | Diesel (<50 ppm sulphur) | 729 |63 |- |- |38,134 |- |4,323 |2,141 |26,776 |- |- |5,675 |29,713 |- |- |107,552 |51.0% | |15 | Diesel (<10 ppm sulphur) | 6,564 |8,518 |3,148 |2,660 |1,218 |35,789 |863 |972 |4,026 |1,922 |8,056 |48 |0 |4,837 |24,634 |103,254 |49.0% | | |Total Diesel | 7,293 |8,581 |3,148 |2,660 |39,351 |35,789 |5,186 |3,113 |30,802 |1,922 |8,056 |5,723 |29,713 |4,837 |24,634 |210,806 |100.0% | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ID |Million litres |Cyprus |Czech Republic |Estonia |Hungary |Latvia |Lithuania |Malta |Poland |Slovakia |Slovenia |Bulgaria |Romania |EU12 |EU12 | |EU |EU | | | Fuel grade |CY |CZ |EE |HU |LV |LT |MT |PL |SK |SI |BG |RO |EU12 |% | |EU |% | |1 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |2 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<50 ppm S) |- |69 |- |- |2 |0 |- |- |- |- |- |- |71 |0.4% | |71 |0.1% | |3 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<10 ppm S) |- |0 |16 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |16 |0.1% | |3,420 |2.6% | |4 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |5 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<50 ppm S) |454 |- |- |- |316 |18 |82 |5,231 |137 |784 |825 |- |7,847 |45.1% | |65,028 |49.0% | |6 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |328 |2,022 |128 |687 |- |- |669 |- |- |- |3,834 |22.0% | |47,201 |35.6% | |7 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |8 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<50 ppm S) |- |2,551 |- |- |- |- |15 |- |- |52 |- |2,035 |4,653 |26.8% | |6,784 |5.1% | |9 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<10 ppm S) |- |0 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |153 |153 |0.9% | |3,459 |2.6% | |10 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |11 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<50 ppm S) |49 |- |- |- |2 |- |- |517 |3 |- |- |- |571 |3.3% | |573 |0.4% | |12 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<10 ppm S) |- |47 |46 |63 |43 |26 |- |- |19 |- |0 |- |244 |1.4% | |6,226 |4.7% | | |Petrol (regular) | 0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | | |Petrol (<50 ppm sulphur) | 503 |2,619 |0 |0 |320 |18 |97 |5,748 |140 |836 |825 |2,035 |13,143 |75.6% | |72,457 |54.6% | | |Petrol (<10 ppm sulphur) | 0 |47 |391 |2,085 |171 |713 |0 |0 |687 |0 |0 |153 |4,247 |24.4% | |60,306 |45.4% | | |Total Petrol | 503 |2,667 |391 |2,085 |491 |731 |97 |5,748 |827 |836 |825 |2,189 |17,390 |100.0% | |132,763 |100.0% | |13 | Diesel | - |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |14 | Diesel (<50 ppm sulphur) | 440 |1,121 |188 |- |894 |825 |108 |181 |267 |1,526 |2,086 |4,314 |11,951 |35.1% | |119,503 |48.8% | |15 | Diesel (<10 ppm sulphur) | - |3,710 |383 |3,472 |68 |495 |- |12,326 |797 |- |- |834 |22,085 |64.9% | |125,338 |51.2% | | |Total Diesel | 440 |4,831 |571 |3,472 |962 |1,320 |110 |12,507 |1,064 |1,526 |2,085 |5,148 |34,035 |100.0% | |244,840 |100.0% | |

[1] Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC O.J. L 350, 28.12.1998, p. 58

[2] Directive 2003/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 March 2003 amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels O.J. L 76, 22.3.2003, p. 10

[3] The term "sulphur-free", or "zero sulphur", refers to a sulphur content of <10ppm

[4] Research Octane Number (RON) is a quantitative measure of the maximum compression ratio at which petrol can be used in an engine without some of the mixture self igniting in the engine. Self ignition leads to excess fuel consumption and an increase in Volatile Organic Compound and Carbon Monoxide emissions.

[5] Vapour pressure is a measure of the propensity of the fuel to evaporate. It is regulated in summer because temperatures at that time of year can lead to high emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds, which are a precursor of ground level ozone. Exceedances will result in increased Volatile O Organic Compound emissions.

[6] The distillation parameter establishes the proportion of the fuel that evaporates at 100˚C and 150˚C. It limits the range of lighter components that can be blended in the petrol. Exceedances could lead to vapour locks and driveability problems.

[7] https://circabc.europa.eu/w/browse/5e89b837-2bec-4284-b9fe-c156271268f7

[8] The term "low-sulphur" corresponds to a sulphur content of <50ppm.

[9] EN 14274:2003 - Automotive fuels - Assessment of petrol and diesel quality - Fuel Quality Monitoring System (FQMS).

[10] https://circabc.europa.eu/w/browse/5e89b837-2bec-4284-b9fe-c156271268f7

[11] https://circabc.europa.eu/w/browse/5e89b837-2bec-4284-b9fe-c156271268f7

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