Other legislative developments

Atmospheric Residue import duty and aromatics content

The customs classification of atmospheric residues and vacuum gasoil was changed in early 2013, imposing an import duty of 1.7% on products whose aromatics content exceeds that of non-aromatics. Previously, the aromatics level had not been considered, and imports of the concerned products were exempted from import duties. After the change in classification, a customs duty suspension was granted up to 31 December 2018. A prolongation request for this customs duty suspension is currently under investigation by the Commission. This prolongation should cover the period from 1.1.2019 until 3.12.2023

FuelsEurope intends to obtain equal treatment for the concerned products independent of their aromatics content, as was the case before the change in classification in 2013. Specifically, it is aiming to transform the customs duty suspension into a duty exemption; obtain an end-use relief; and cover the same products and the range of processes used to make such products.

The Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR)

Both the Payment Services Directive (PSD) and the regulation on Multilateral Interchange Fees, now called the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR), reviews were concluded in December 2015. The revised Payment Service Directive, which regulates consumer payment services, excludes fuel cards. The revised MIF regulation successfully capped and harmonized interchange fees at Union level for the debit and credit card payments.

However since the introduction of the Interchange Fee Regulation increases in the scheme fees of consumer cards as well as increased use of commercial cards – those not being regulated under the IFR – are causing concerns to our members.

The 2019 review of the IFR should take into account the concerns expressed in combination with possible measures to mitigate them.

ADN regulation for Heavy Fuel Oil

The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN) entered into force on 29 February 2008. Within this agreement heavy fuel oil (HFO) has been classified in 2013 as a hazardous substance and thus vapor displaced during operations have to be collected for treatment. This means that vapors generated during loading operations must be returned to shore for proper treatment as from 1 January 2017.

Concawe has conducted a health risk assessment to better understand the potential risks of airborne emissions during HFO loading operations. The assessment concluded that such emissions do not represent a health concern for workers conducting the operations.

Based on the report of this assessment, FuelsEurope requested an exemption from the mandatory use of return lines at the ADN Safety Committee meeting in January 2015. After several discussions at the ADN Safety Committee meetings, the August 2016 ADN meeting decided not to grant the exemption. Delegations of several Member States agreed however to make a multilateral agreement (M019 under section 1.5.1 of the regulations annexed to ADN on the carriage of heavy heating oil in tank vessels) for 5 years allowing a derogation on the use of return lines during loading operations of heavy fuel oil (UN3082) up to 31.12.2021. This derogation aims to allow industry sufficient time to make, where necessary the required compliance investments. It can however by revoked by one of the signatories, if the authorities would observe a deliberate slowdown of compliance investments.

Degassing of barges

The Conference of Parties (CVP) of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine (CCNR) adopted a modified CDNI legislation on 22 June 2017. This modification includes how the release of gaseous residues from liquid loads on inland waterways will be regulated.  The CCNR authorities and industry stakeholders (chemicals, refining, logistics, barge operators and owners) have over the last 3 years worked together to develop the modified legislation. The modified  CDNI legislation will now need to be ratified by the CCNR Member States ( Germany, France , Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg) before it enters into force.

The modified CDNI legislation aims to introduce a progressive introduction of the degassing prohibition by focusing on high volume dangerous products transported over inland waterways based on a pragmatic and feasible approach, while avoiding that gaseous residues of liquid cargos are considered as waste. This last point is intended to facilitate the recovery of those gaseous residues as raw material.

Special provisions have been included with the aim to reduce emission of gaseous residues of liquid loads by regulating compatible or unit barge transports.

The refining industry intends to continue to monitor the further developments related to the CDNI regulation.