Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Guides & Guidelines as made
These guidelines repeal and replace the Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2003 and ensure a consistent and objective process is followed in determining whether a fuel additive should be entered into or removed from the Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives.
Administered by: Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Registered 27 Sep 2019
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR14-Oct-2019
Tabled Senate14-Oct-2019

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000

Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2019

(Issued by the authority of the Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy as delegate of the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction)

Purpose and operation

The Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 (Cth) (the Act) provides the legislative framework for regulating the quality of fuel supplied in Australia. The objectives of the Act are to reduce the level of pollutants and emissions arising from the use of fuel that may cause environmental and health problems; facilitate the adoption of better engine and emission control technology; allow the more effective operation of engines and ensure that, where appropriate, information about fuel is provided when the fuel is supplied.

 Under Section 32 of the Act, the Minister must keep a Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives (the Register). Section 36 of the Act states that the Minister must, by legislative instrument, develop written guidelines that he or she must have regard to when deciding, under subsection 35(2) of the Act, whether or not to:

(a) enter a fuel additive, or a class of fuel additives, in the Register; or

(b) remove a fuel additive, or a class of fuel additives, from the Register.

Division 7 of the Act includes civil penalty and offence provisions relating to the supply and importation of fuel additives on the Register.

The purpose of the Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2019 (the Guidelines) is to ensure a consistent and objective process is followed in determining whether a fuel additive should be entered into or removed from the Register. It is also intended that the Guidelines provide guidance to any interested parties wishing to make submissions in response to a notice under section 34 of the Act relating to the entering or removal of an additive on the Register.

The Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2019 define a fuel additive as a substance that is generally sold or represented as suitable for adding to fuel to affect the properties of the fuel, including the effect of the additive on engine performance, engine emission or fuel economy (Regulation 7 in Part 1).

In making a decision regarding the inclusion or removal of a fuel additive, or class of fuel additives, from the Register, the Minister must consult the Fuel Quality Standards Consultative Committee and have regard to any recommendations arising from that consultation (see section 24A), as well as any submissions received in response to a notice issued by the Minister under section 34 (see subsection 35(1)). The Minister must also have regard to the matters in the Guidelines.

The Guidelines repeal and replace the sunsetting Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2003.

The changes in the updated Guidelines include updating the heading in Section 5 and the expression of its specifications to improve consistency and clarity as appropriate.

This instrument is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2003.

Background

In October 2015, the Australian Government established the Ministerial Forum on Vehicle Emissions to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to reducing motor vehicle emissions. Part of this work is a measure to improve fuel quality standards which will assist in achieving better environmental, human health and engine operability outcomes.

Consultation

This instrument has been developed following extensive public consultation in relation to a range of policy options to improve Australia’s fuel quality. Two rounds of public consultation were conducted, as well as targeted consultation with key industry stakeholders. The stakeholders included fuel producers, fuel importers, vehicle manufacturers and automobile associations.

Regulation impact analysis

The Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) was consulted in relation to the remaking of all nine sunsetting legislative instruments under the Act. The Better fuel for cleaner air regulation impact statement was prepared to assess the impacts on industry, the community and the environment of various policy options to improve fuel standards. The OBPR advised that the Better fuel for cleaner air regulation impact statement is compliant with the Government’s requirements and is consistent with best practice (OBPR ID 20699).

The Better fuel for cleaner air regulation impact statement is available under the Supporting Material tab of the www.legislation.gov.au page for this instrument.

Details of the Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2019

Section 1 – Name

This section specifies that the name of the Guidelines is the Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2019.

Section 2 – Commencement

This section provides that the Guidelines commence on 1 October 2019.

Section 3 – Authority

This section sets out the provision of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 under which the Guidelines are made.

Section 4 – Schedules

This section provides that the specified instrument in a Schedule to these Guidelines is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to these Guidelines has effect according to its terms.

Section 5 – Guidelines for making a decision

Subsection (1) provides that the Minister must have regard to the matters mentioned in subsection (2) when deciding whether or not to enter or remove a fuel additive, or a class of fuel additives, from the Register.

Subsection (2) sets out the matters relevant to subsection (1). 

This subsection sets out a range of matters that the Minister or delegate must have regard to when deciding whether to add or remove additives from the Register.

The matters include the effect that the fuel additive could have on emissions and on the operation and durability of engines and exhaust systems. The Minister also needs to consider the effect that the fuel additive could have on the environment and human health and safety. Other matters include the effect the listing or removal of the fuel additive would have on consumers and the availability and cost of alternatives to the fuel additive; and on economic and regional development. The Minister should have regard to any existing state or territory regulation of the fuel additive and any previous decisions made under the Act, for example, a decision to vary a fuel standard to include the use of additives in higher quantities than specified in the standard. Further matters include any international regulations, for example, the European Commission have prohibited the use of tetraethyl lead and methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) in fuels; and relevant scientific advice, such as advice from technical consultancies, contracted laboratories and other Australian Government agencies.

Schedule 1 – Repeals

Item 1 – The whole of the instrument

This item provides that the whole of the Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2003 is repealed.  

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2019

These Guidelines are compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Overview of the legislative instrument

The Fuel Quality Standards (Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives) Guidelines 2019 sets out matters that the Minister must have regard to when determining whether a fuel additive, or a class of fuel additives, should be entered into or removed from the Register.

Human rights implications

These Guidelines do not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

Conclusion

These Guidelines are compatible with human rights as they do not raise any human rights issues.