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ACCUTRACE™ Plus – Everything you need to know

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In early 2022, the EU announced a shakeup to its fuel marking policies. Solvent Yellow 124, more commonly known as the Euromarker, was to be replaced as the common fiscal fuel marker.

The introduction of a new Euromarker, ACCUTRACE™ Plus Fuel Marker, was the first time that the EU-wide system had been changed in the 21 years since its inception. With a deadline of 18th January 2024, the announcement sent shockwaves through fuel industry stakeholders across Europe, and presented a significant challenge to government agencies, the fuels industry itself as well as implementation partners like John Hogg.

 

Why, and Where, is the Euromarker Used?

The Euromarker is a type of fuel marker used in the European Union to distinguish between taxed and untaxed fuels. It is a substance that is added to tax subsidised fuels in EU member states (and a few non members) to indicate that the fuel is approved for certain uses only, and is not allowed to be used in consumer vehicles. Government enforcement agencies use this system to identify fraudulent activity such as fuel theft, misuse, adulteration and smuggling, and to take action against the perpetrators.

The fuel marker is added to fuels before it enters the local market, typically at refineries, fuel terminals or at the point of import into the EU, as one part of a ‘marker dye concentrate’ product. Marker dye concentrates are produced by manufacturers like John Hogg, and are designed to meet specific local fuel legislations such as dosage rate and colour, which differ from country to country. We currently manufacture marker concentrates that cover all legislative needs within the EU, as well as products that cater for different operational setups when dosing.

 

ACCUTRACE™ Plus – What is it?

ACCUTRACE™ Plus is a marker chemical manufactured by Dow (US), which contains 76% butoxybenzene as the active component.

It was selected as a replacement due to concerns that Solvent Yellow 124 was not ‘sufficiently resistant’ to removal by laundering or other means, allowing fraudsters to evade taxes by removing the marker from fuels that had not had the appropriate taxes paid. Additionally, there were environmental concerns around the continuing use of Solvent Yellow 124, which also contributed to the change.

 

Implications of ACCUTRACE™ Plus Transition

The EU announcement states that fuel operators have until the 18th January 2024 to mark their fuels with ACCUTRACE™ Plus, at the prescribed levels of between 12.5mg/L and 18.75mg/L of fuel. The switch over between markers is not instant, and requires a detailed implementation plan that covers any transition period.

Local governments are responsible for setting these transition plans, taking into account questions like:
• Will Y124 be removed completely or continue to be used?
• When is the first date ACCUTRACE™ Plus is allowed to be dosed?
• Will mixtures of the two markers be allowed and during what period of time?
• Will there be any other changes to the legislation, e.g. which colour is used?

Many member states have already published their implementation plans including Germany, Sweden and Finland. We understand that discussions are underway in many other member states aiming to resolve their plan, which will be available in advance of the deadline.

In general, most countries are maintaining their existing legislation, switching out the Solvent Yellow 124 for ACCUTRACE™ Plus and keeping everything else the same.

 

Dyeguard® – A New Range of Marker Concentrates

In response to this announcement, John Hogg began development of a brand new range of marker dye concentrates, containing ACCUTRACE™ Plus instead of Solvent Yellow 124, covering the legislation and operational requirements of all member states and end users.

Our Dyeguard® range of marker concentrates will be available for purchase during Summer 2023, with some already available for testing and approvals. If you are interested in the product which meets your local legislation, please contact us directly and we will be happy to provide you with a more detailed update!

 

What do I Need to do?

Fuel suppliers and marketers should check the transition plans for their local territory with the relevant authorities for details on what they should do to prepare, and more importantly, when.

We also recommend that current volumes of fuel containing the previous Euromarker (Solvent Yellow 124) are evaluated, with a view to use up this volume in advance of the deadline in January 2024. Any stocks of the existing marker concentrate which are held in separate tanks will also need to be managed carefully.

For more information on technical and operational aspects of the ACCUTRACE™ Plus implementation, you can check out our Frequently Asked Questions guide here.

 

ACCUTRACE™ is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

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