Applications to vary the national fuel standards


By law, all fuel supplied in Australia must meet the standards specified in the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 (the Act). Section 13 of the Act allows the Minister (or delegate) to grant approval to supply fuel that varies from a standard.

Approvals are intended to cater for situations where there is a specific requirement to supply fuel that varies from a standard for a limited time. For example, a motor sports organisation may apply for an approval to supply petrol containing octane enhancers such as lead or methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to teams participating in an organised motor racing event.

Division 3 of the Act enables the Minister to, at his or her discretion, approve variations to the Fuel Standards in response to an application for variation. In considering whether or not to grant an approval, the Minister considers:

  • the protection of the environment;
  • the protection of occupational and public health and safety;
  • the interests of consumers;
  • the impact on economic and regional development and;
  • any other matters he/she considers relevant.

An application for approval must be made in accordance with the Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2001 and must be accompanied by the appropriate application fee.

The Minister must consult with the Fuel Standards Consultative Committee (the Committee) before deciding whether to grant the approval or not.

An approval will always be specific to certain fuel and fuel suppliers. It will also have conditions for the use and handling of the fuel and will have set time frames.

The department is responsible for processing applications for an approval including:

  • responding to inquiries from applicants or potential applicants;
  • assessing whether each application includes all the required information;
  • calculating the fees payable by the applicant;
  • liaising with the committee and the Minister about the application;
  • publishing the approval in the gazette if it is granted by the Minister;
  • keeping the applicant informed about progress with their application; and
  • ensuring compliance with all the conditions in the approval.

How to apply

For more information on applying for an approval for a variation to the standards, see the Applicants Guide for Section 13 Approvals; Sections 13-18 of the Act; and the Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2001. Alternatively, you may wish to write to

Further information


The information contained on this page is of a general nature only and should be read in conjunction with the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000, Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2001 and the national fuel standards. Fuel suppliers may wish to seek legal advice about their obligations under this legislation.