The Irish Petrol Retailers Association (IPRA) has launched its Quality Assurance Scheme (QA) for petrol retailers in Dublin and Kildare.

David Blevings, spokesperson for the IPRA, said: “We are delighted with the take-up of the QA scheme across the island with over 200 retailers taking part. The scheme offers consumers’ the satisfaction in knowing that retailers who display the QA sign at their forecourt are part of an independent scheme which provides them with confidence that the fuel they are purchasing meets the current Irish road fuels specification.”

Abused fuel is usually agricultural diesel (that attracts a lower excise rate) which has the dye removed and is sold on as legitimate road diesel. While many believe this product is suitable for road use, the adulterated fuel can cause major problems with diesel cars due to the residue left in the fuel as a result of the laundering process.

The Irish government gave new tools to the tax authorities to tackle fuel abuse which has included a rigorous reporting system (ROM1) which been welcomed by the legitimate trade. IPRA says early indications are that this has curbed the availability of agricultural gasoil being made available for ‘laundering’ and the launch of a new UK and Irish marker last April has further reduced the availability of abused fuel.

“Despite the reduction in the availability of gasoil the problem persists and we want to help our members promote best practice,” said Blevings.

“To help address this problem we launched a Quality Assurance Scheme for IPRA retail members that means that the retailers who display our QA logo verify their suppliers and sign-up to a random testing protocol for their fuel.”