Other legislative developments

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

 

Electronic Payment

The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which regulates payment services for the consumer market, excludes fuel cards. FuelsEurope welcomes the adoption of this revised directive.

The adoption of PSD2 on 23 December 2015 (as Directive 2015/2366) brought to a successful close the work of the taskforce following the reviews of the Regulation on Multilateral Interchange Fees (MIF) and the Payment Services Directive. The MIF regulation successfully capped and harmonised interchange fees at Union level for debit and credit card payments. It also brought an end to a number of punitive practices that favoured payment card issuers.

As a member of the European Payment Users Alliance, FuelsEurope supports new regulation to make interchange fees transparent and harmonised. The current multilateral interchange fee (MIF) system costs retailers and consumers €9 billion per year, and has been condemned as anti-competitive by the highest European Court.

 

ADN regulation HFO

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 as a hazardous substance and thus vapour displaced during operations have to be collected for treatment. This means that vapours generated during loading operations must be returned to shore for proper treatment. From the 1st of January 2017, return lines will be mandatory.

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. Additional time was requested to evaluate this request at the August 2015 ADN meeting – but no decision was taken due to additional concerns, which were addressed during the second half of 2015. At the January 2016 ADN meeting, the Dutch authorities did not support the requested exemption. A final decision on the request was scheduled to be taken at the August 2016 ADN meeting.

 

Atmospheric Residue

A change in customs classification will lead to the imposition of import duties on certain crude oil products whose aromatics content exceeds their level of non-aromatics. FuelsEurope is working to obtain equal treatment for the concerned products independently of their aromatics content, as was the case before the change in customs classification.

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.

FuelsEurope is trying to get the concerned products treated equally, independent of their aromatics content. 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.