01 Apr 2003

Sulphur-free fuels are on the way

The final version of the revised EU Fuels Directive, 2003/17/EC, was published in March 2003. As expected, sulphur-free gasoline and diesel fuels (10 mg/kg maximum sulphur content), must be available on ‘an appropriate balanced geographic basis’ from 2005. Full market coverage of sulphur-free fuels is required from 2009, though the end date for diesel fuel remains subject to review.

Other fuel properties are unchanged compared to the already agreed 2005 specifications. The Directive does not stipulate any change to the quality of diesel fuel for non-road vehicles for 2005, but requires that the Commission establish the future quality requirements for non-road diesel fuel in parallel with its work on the next stage of emissions standards for compression ignition engines used in non-road applications.

The Directive also calls for a further review of the road fuels specifications to be completed by end 2005.

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