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Heavy penalties introduced for fuel substitution



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The Hon Warren Truss MP Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs Deputy Leader of the House

M e d i a

R elease-lu AUSTRALIA .iL ·

EMBARGOED TO MID DA Y, 30 JANUAR Y 1998 016/98

HEAVY PENALTIES INTRODUCED FOR FUEL SUBSTITUTION

The Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs, Warren Truss, has today announced a major nation-wide crackdown on fuel-substitution rorts which avoid paying customs or excise duty.

“Apart from avoiding duty, the use o f fuel substitutes can be dangerous,” Mr Truss said.

“Illegal fuels often have a much lower flash point than proper fuels. The effects o f substitute fuels have included reduced engine performance, clogged fuel injectors and even total breakdown o f engines.”

On-road fuels, such as petrol and automotive diesel attract the highest rate of duty, while duty on non­ transport fuels is lower or duty-free. Fuel substitution is the use of non-transport fuels, such as heating oils, kerosene, solvents or light crude oils, which attract lower duties, as transport fuels such as diesel and petrol

“The Federal Government is implementing strict new laws, which include heavy penalties, to combat the loss of revenue and stamp out dangerous and illegal practices resulting from fuel substitution, Mr Truss said.

“From tomorrow, operators face penalties of up to $50,000 if they are caught in fuel substitution rorts.”

The new laws require concessional fuels to contain an invisible chemical marker called Mortrace MP to make them easily identifiable by using a simple test kit which is available to fuel distributors and retailers.

“The new laws will help road transport operators and motorists by strengthening the protection o f their interests and safety,” Mr Truss said

“As part o f this strengthening, detailed records must be now be kept and maintained by anyone who sells, buys, transports or stores fuel.

“Customs officers will be able to enter premises, by consent or under the authority o f a judicial warrant, to audit records and test fuels to determine if the chemical marker is present .”

M EDIA NOTE. Minister will be announcing the new laws today at Shell Melbourne between 11.30 and 12.30 (Burleigh Street, Newport) and is available for interviews. Please contact Andrew Hall 0419 996 766 02 6277 7790 cmr941