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Fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene

Fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene



Directive 95/60/EC – fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene


It aims to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market and to prevent the improper use of certain petroleum products which are subject to variable excise duties.


  • EU countries have to apply a fiscal marker to gas oils and kerosene (other than jet fuel) which are exempt from excise duty or are subject to excise duty at a rate other than the standard rate applicable to mineral oils used as motor fuel.
  • Fiscal marking consists of adding a specific chemical substance to the abovementioned products. The marker is to be added under fiscal supervision before the products are released for consumption, save in exceptional cases.
  • EU countries may add a national marker or colour in addition to the marker provided for by the Directive.


  • There are exceptions, in certain circumstances, from the application of the fiscal marker on grounds of public health or safety or for technical reasons.
  • Ireland may decide not to use or allow use of this marker. If so, it must inform the Commission, which must then inform the other EU countries.
  • Denmark may, provided that the goods remain subject to fiscal control, delay the addition of the marker until the moment of final retail sale.


To ensure that improper use of the marked products is avoided and, in particular, that the mineral oils in question cannot be used for combustion in the engine of a road-going motor vehicle, EU countries must determine the penalties to be imposed in the event of failure to comply with the directive.

Common marker

  • Commission Implementing Decision 2011/544/EC established Solvent Yellow 124 as the common fiscal marker. It was prolonged three times. The latest Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/74, which is currently in force, fixed the marking level of at least 6 mg and not more than 9 mg of marker per litre of mineral oil. This decision is to be reviewed by 31 December 2021 at the latest, in the light of technical developments in the field of marking systems (and taking into account the need to counteract the fraudulent use of mineral oils exempted from excise duty, or subject to a reduced excise duty rate).
  • In the meantime, the European Commission has launched a study to identify alternative products suitable for use as a fiscal marker in gas oils and kerosene. The Joint Research Centre of the Commission produced a report containing its findings on some of the available fiscal markers based on applications made by companies from the chemical industry following a call for expression of interest, issued by the Commission services. Work on the assessment of the candidate fiscal markers is ongoing.
  • If the Commission, after consulting the EU countries, decides that a better performing substance than Solvent Yellow 124 is available, Decision (EU) 2017/74 may be repealed prior to 2021.


The directive has applied since 26 December 1995.


For more information, see:


Council Directive 95/60/EC of 27 November 1995 on fiscal marking of gas oils and kerosene (OJ L 291, 6.12.1995, pp. 46–47)


Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/74 of 25 November 2016 establishing a common fiscal marker for gas oils and kerosene (OJ L 10, 14.1.2017, pp. 7–9)

Council Directive 2008/118/EC of 16 December 2008 concerning the general arrangements for excise duty and repealing Directive 92/12/EEC (OJ L 9, 14.1.2009, pp. 12–30)

Successive amendments to Directive 2008/118/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (OJ L 283, 31.10.2003, pp. 51–70).

Two amendments to Directive 2003/96/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. See consolidated version

last update 07.11.2017