New national fuel-reporting rules to be introduced for large fuel wholesalers

The Australian Department of the Environment and Energy has long required fuel producers and importers to give information about the quantity of petroleum fuels, lubricants and other fuels (eg, LPG) that are produced and sold into the Australian market.

The information collected through this process is used by the Australian Government to monitor energy security and facilitate compliance with international reporting and stockholding obligations.

The information has also been used to publish the Australian Petroleum Statistics – a monthly publication of aggregate petroleum and other fuel statistics for use by business, investors, academics and government.

Last year, the Australian Government began a consultation with industry (including ACAPMA) and other stakeholders about possible changes to the current reporting regulations with the business case for change discussed in a formal consultation paper released in September 2016. Subsequent industry consultation sessions were conducted in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane during October 2016.

Following completion of the initial consultation process, the Department of Environment and Energy released a paper outlining the preferred design for future fuels reporting in December 2016. The most notable aspect of this consultation, says ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie, was a proposal for the Australian Government to require large wholesalers to report on throughput in the future.

“Consultation with ACAPMA’s members indicated that such a requirement is reasonable if the format of these reports was not onerous and provided that all commercial sensitivities were observed,” he said.

Last week, the Australian Government released the draft rules that are proposed for the future reporting of petroleum and other fuel statistics. The new draft rules were also released with a supporting explanatory note that discusses the rationale for the new rules, as well as providing background comments on future reporting obligations.

A quick review of these draft rules reveals that large fuel wholesalers will probably be required to report fuel volumes when the new laws take effect on January 1, 2018, with large fuel wholesalers defined as those wholesaling more than 3,000 tonnes of petroleum products in the prior financial year.

The Australian Government is now seeking stakeholder comment on these draft rules by July 14, 2017.

Fuel wholesalers selling more than 3,000 tonnes of petroleum products are encouraged to review the draft rules and either submit comment to the Department of Environment and Energy, or contact ACAPMA to ensure their comments are incorporated in the ACAPMA submission.

ACAPMA members wishing to give input should call ACAPMA on 1300 160 270 or email markm@acapma.com.au.

This is an edited version of an article originally circulated by ACAPMA on June 9, 2017.

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