3 February 2003

The European Parliament has passed a regulation requiring “sulfur-free” gasoline and diesel fuels from 2009. The directive, agreed between negotiating teams from Parliament and Council last December, was made final in a Parliament vote on 30 January 2003.

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The “sulfur-free” fuels are defined as having no more than 10 mg/kg (ppm) sulfur. Both sulfur-free gasoline (petrol) and diesel must be available for highway vehicles from 2005, and become mandatory in 2009. The 2009 sulfur-free diesel deadline also applies to mobile nonroad engines. These sulfur-free fuel requirements are subject to confirmation in a review in 2005.

The Parliament made also a reference in the text to fiscal measures “at the appropriate national or Community level” as incentives for early introduction of cleaner fuels.

Current specifications on sulfur amount to 150 ppm for gasoline and 350 ppm for diesel, both limits becoming 50 ppm effective 1 January 2005.

Source: European Parliament