The quality of automotive fuels in Australia has been regulated by a number of legal instruments, including the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000, the Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2001 and the Fuel Standard (Automotive Diesel) Determination 2001. Fuel quality standards are administered by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Two groups of standards are applicable to diesel fuels:
- Environmental Standards regulate fuel parameters that have a direct impact on the environment.
- Operability Standards address those parameters of diesel that do not have a direct impact on emissions but, if not controlled, can have adverse impacts on the efficient operation of the engine.
The environmental standards include sulfur content in diesel fuel, the maximum level of which has been reduced on the following schedule:
- 500 ppm from 31 December 2002
- 50 ppm from 1 January 2006
- 10 ppm from 1 January 2009
Since March 2009, diesel fuel may contain up to 5% of biodiesel without a labeling requirement.