The Australian Government regulates the quality of petrol and diesel sold in Australia. Poor fuel quality can damage the environment, vehicles and our health.
Our fuel quality standards seek to:
- reduce fuel pollutants and emissions
- facilitate the adoption of better engine and emission control technologies
- improve engine operation
The Australian fuel industry and fuel suppliers must meet legislative requirements:
Our department, together with the National Measurement Institute:
- sets fuel quality standards and labelling requirements
- assesses requests to temporarily vary fuel standards
- monitors compliance with fuel standards
We are reviewing the fuel quality standards to investigate improvements that could be made to the quality of fuel supplied in Australia from 2024. This review will consider creating standards that are aligned with international standards.
The Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 doesn’t cover consumer protections. We cannot assist with compensation claims or other alleged consumer issues, like damages or loss caused by poor fuel quality.
State and territory governments are responsible for consumer complaints and compensation claims resulting from fuel that:
- doesn’t meet the fuel quality standards
- is adulterated
- is contaminated.
Contact your consumer affairs regulator if you have purchased fuel that you believe has damaged your vehicle:
- NSW Fair Trading
- Consumer Affairs Victoria
- QLD Office of Fair Trading
- WA Consumer Protection
- SA Consumer and Business Services
- Access Canberra (ACT)
- NT Consumer Affairs
- TAS Consumer, Building and Occupational Services.
You may also wish to contact your car insurance provider as some motor insurance policies include cover for contaminated fuel. We are interested to hear from consumers about suspected fuel quality non-compliance as it can assist us in our activities under the National Fuel Monitoring Program. However, please be aware that we cannot share details of suspected non-compliance matters with you, including updates on the report you have made.
National fuel monitoring program
Under the Act the department, in cooperation with the National Measurement Institute (NMI) monitor fuel quality at a range of sites and locations across the national fuel supply chain. We also monitor and may undertake investigations of fuel suppliers where we have received allegations of suspected fuel quality non-compliance.
Inspectors engaged by the National Measurement Institute (NMI) may visit a fuel supplier at any time, and on any day of the week to:
- sample and test fuel
- assess fuel delivery documentation
- inspect fuel dispenser labelling
- check any other requirements under the Act
The NMI also regulates the wholesale and retail sale of liquid fuels as it relates to the equipment used - ensuring equipment complies with the requirements - and the measurement of fuel is correct (eg. Fuel pump measurements are giving accurate readings). Read about business obligations under trade measurement law when selling liquid fuels.
We cannot share information about specific fuel monitoring activities, including fuel testing results for individual sites, businesses or entities. We do have authority under the Act to share this information with other government agencies. This assists with administrating and enforcing taxation and consumer protection laws.
If you suspect you have purchased fuel that does not meet the Fuel Quality Standards
You can make a report to the department if you suspect fuel:
- has been adulterated (eg. foreign substances have been added)
- doesn’t meet the standards
- has damaged your vehicle.
We monitor and enforce fuel quality standards under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000.
The information provided through consumer reports may be used in undertaking compliance activities and other work under the Fuel Quality Monitoring Program, such as undertaking investigatory or enforcement activities, as deemed appropriate, and determining quality testing locations.
We do not have powers regarding consumer protections and cannot assist with claims for compensation or insurance matters resulting from fuel quality issues. If you are seeking compensation for vehicle damage from suspected contaminated fuel you may wish to contact your state or territory consumer affairs regulator and your motor vehicle insurer. See (Consumer Complaints) for more information.
If you wish to make a report about fuel quality you can send an email to LF.Compliance@dcceew.gov.au and include the following information:
- Nature of report (e.g. Contaminated fuel)
- Date of incident
- Location (name and address of service station)
- Fuel type
- Pump number (if known)
Liquid Fuels Branch, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)
GPO Box 3090 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia
Fuel quality standards and labelling requirements
The fuel quality standards apply Australia-wide. States and territories can set their own standards in addition to the Australian standards.
The standards for each fuel type are described in the determinations. The determinations outline parameter specifications, compliance timeframes (if applicable), and test methods for compliance purposes.
The petrol fuel standard describes the parameters of 91 Research Octane Number (RON) and 95 RON petrol. 98 RON petrol must meet the 95 RON standard.
Some additives are not included in this standard:
- Tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME)
- Ethyl tertiary amyl ether (ETAE).
Potential importers or manufacturers of these (and other) additives should contact the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme to determine their obligations under the scheme.
The diesel fuel standard describes automotive diesel, renewable diesel and synthetic diesel.
The biodiesel fuel standard describes diesel obtained from esterification of oil derived from plant and/or animal material.
The autogas fuel standard describes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) suitable for motor vehicles.
Petrol sold in Australia may contain up to 10 per cent ethanol (‘E10’).
- Read Fuel Quality Standards (Petrol) Determination 2019
- Read the Fuel Quality Standards (Ethanol) Information Standard 2019 for E10 labelling requirements.
The Ethanol E85 fuel standard describes a fuel blend consisting of 70–85 per cent ethanol and 15–30 per cent petrol.
- Read the Fuel Quality Standards (Ethanol E85) Determination 2019
- Read the Fuel Quality Standards (Ethanol E85) Information Standard 2019 for E85 labelling requirements
Applications to vary fuel quality standards
Section 13 of the Act allows the Minister (or delegate) to approve the supply of a fuel that varies from the standard. The variation can only apply in specific instances and for a limited time.
Read about applying for a fuel quality standard variation.
Find all current approvals granted under section 13 of the Act.
- Read policy reform options for fuel standards in Australia
- Read the 2015 Review of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000
- Email email@example.com
- Phone +61 2 6213 6000
- Write to us at: Liquid Fuels Branch, Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, GPO Box 3090, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia