The Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021
These Regulations amend the Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) Regulations 1999 (No. 3107).
The Regulations set out the standards for the sale and distribution of motor fuel in the UK. In 2021 they were amended with regards to Great Britain to introduce E10 petrol. These Regulations are to bring Northern Ireland in line with the requirements that now apply to GB.
The Regulations require fuel distributors and retailers with a throughput of more than 1 million litres to ensure the standard 95 octane petrol grade contains a minimum of 5.5% ethanol. Given the existing 10% maximum ethanol content for petrol, this ensures the 95 octane grade contains between 5.5% and 10% ethanol at applicable filling stations.
The Regulations also require filling stations that sell two types of petrol, and more than 1 million litres of fuel per year, to sell a 'Super' grade (higher octane) petrol with no more than 5% ethanol. This ensures low ethanol fuel is available to motorists and other petrol users than need it due to E10 compatibility issues in certain vehicles and equipment.
The regulations also provide for temporary supply exemptions where blending of ethanol is not feasible for short periods of time. It also provides for a wider derogation to be issued by the Secretary of State where fuel terminals are unable to blend any ethanol due to ethanol blending infrastructure limitations.
The consultation process and impact assessment considered E10 introduction across the UK. These documents are therefore not specific to the introduction of E10 in Northern Ireland, however the wider points considered within them remain applicable.