Many retailers are concerned about sites selling fuel that may be from a questionable source and are looking to differentiate themselves particularly as the reputable fuel retailer may be more expensive. The Quality Assurance Scheme launched by the IPRA does exactly this. While Revenue have made very positive inroads into the problem with their ROM 1 scheme and the new fuel marker but the problem of smuggling, fuel abuse, mixing and adulteration still persists and we believe that even if we can’t stop fuel adulteration we can help consumers make informed choices and support the legitimate members of our industry. And so, the IPRA launched a Quality Assurance (QA) scheme in the summer of 2013. This was in response to requests from retail members’ in Dundalk who wanted to reassure their customers that the fuel being sold is of a consistently high quality and met Irish fuel specifications.
Fast forward to 2019 and there are now over 220 stations throughout the island promoting quality assured fuel with the support of our Certified QA Trade Mark. This has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the National Standards Authority of Ireland and is registered by the Irish Patents Office. The purpose of the IPRA Accreditation scheme is to provide a recognised quality standard for motor fuels and safeguard the interests of consumers – fuel quality is a vitally important consideration for everyone; poor quality fuel is one of the main causes of faults and breakdowns and word of mouth is generally the quickest way in Ireland for rumours of adulterated fuel to start and affect forecourt business often without the station even being aware.
The system established includes random testing – a retailer will not have prior knowledge of when a test is being conducted but will be informed when the tester arrive on site. Testing is out sourced to an independent testing company who, following a successful visit and negative test for adulterated fuel, issue a certificate acknowledging the retailers adherence to the Irish Government specification on motor fuel quality.
The testing is carried out on both petrol and diesel and a random testing protocol ensures that the system is operated fairly and, importantly, all new sites are tested on initial entry into the scheme.
As an additional service if it is every required/requested by fuel retailer we can also organise for fuel to be tested by our laboratory and certified by us outside of our initial or random fuel testing mechanism. For example, on receipt of a customer complaint etc. This may be useful again due to the independence of our testing regime. Further, the IPRA can provide evidence of this testing in the case of any legal proceedings being taken against your business.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
IPRA has introduced a fuel quality assurance scheme for members. For the benefit of the public, membership of IPRA is granted only if two existing members vouch for the applicant. In addition, a check is made to with Revenue to ensure the site has a valid autofuel licence and there are no outstanding issues. When admitted to membership they will be able to join the fuel quality scheme where they commit to engage in random fuel testing to verify the fuel supply.
Pump stickers will be displayed by those stations involved in the scheme. Testing is carried out by an independent testing company (TE Laboratories, Carlow) who issue a certificate acknowledging their adherence to the Irish Government specification on motor fuel quality.
In addition, the motorist can identify a participating station on our website meeting the QA standard.
The independent QA scheme has already gathered positive attention through the media based on the initial launch of the scheme in County Louth. The scheme has raised consumer awareness about the importance of fuel quality.
Any accredited producers or suppliers that fail the independent test will be subject to a stringent review procedure and removed from the database.
BENEFITS FOR THE CUSTOMER
WHY USE AN IPRA ACCREDITED FUEL SUPPLIER?
- The fuel will meet current Irish Government specification for motor fuel quality.
- The service station operator will have a verifiable audit trail guaranteeing the authenticity of the fuel product.
- It provides a guarantee that the fuel you buy meets recognised standards and fulfils the required specification for your vehicle.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about our Quality Assurance Scheme.