12:20 05.06.2013

Every third liter of petrol at Ukrainian filling stations is counterfeit, says study

3 min read

Kyiv, June 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Every third liter of petrol sold at Ukrainian filling stations is not in line with the current quality standards, President of the Kyiv Motorist Club, Maksym Holovin, said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine in Kyiv on Tuesday.

The results were received after a test of petrol samples selected by drivers in 10 leading filling stations of the capital conducted by the Ukrainian Research and Educational Center of Chemical Science and the Certification of Fuels, Lubricants and Technical Liquids.

"Tests were done on fuel sold by the Shell, KLO, BRSM-Nafta, AVIAS plus, Gazovik, TNK, Talisman, Narodnaya, OKKO and WOG filling station chains. The test results were deplorable: the quality of petrol in Ukraine is worse than petrol in Europe. At least 30% of the petrol sold in the country is in line neither with old Ukrainian standards nor with Euro-4 and Euro-5 fuel standards," the Kyiv Motorist Club said.

Holovin said that the fuel performance number and ignition characteristic of three out of ten samples was not keeping with the declared characteristics. A discrepancy in the factional content and the large gap between the initial and final boiling temperatures was found in four out ten samples. None of the samples had the proper color and density.

"The fuel certificates at the major part of filling stations where we took samples were dated 2012, which is rather doubtful. It took 40 minutes to find the certificates for the filling stations, and one filling station did not have a certificate… None of the fuel had the proper color – it was yellow, and at one filling station it was even brown," Holovin said.

According to the opinion of the head of the Kyiv Motorist Club and the sector experts who were present at the press conference, the state should monitor the fuel quality at filling stations. This will not only protect cars from breakdowns, but will also considerably increase the payment of excise duty to the national budget.

"Starting with checks on the end-sellers – the filling stations – one could detect the producers and suppliers of counterfeit fuel and punish them," Holovin said.

An independent expert for energy, Valentyn Zemliansky, said that from 2008 to 2013 the number of filling stations checked by the state fell by 2.8 times (to 357) – the pace is inversely proportional to growth in the volumes o counterfeit fuel sold on the Ukrainian market.

In turn, an analyst from the UPECO Consulting Company, Oleksandr Sirenko, said that the state's control on fuel quality should be intensified both at filling stations and at the border, as most of the fuel on the market is imported.

"I think that quality control should be ensured at the border and at filling stations. Over the past three years since operators have lost fear of checks, petrol made at refineries has become a rare thing," the expert said.

As reported, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on May 29 instructed Income and Tax Minister Oleksandr Klymenko to ensure proper checks are made on the quality of imported fuel. Azarov made the relevant order in connection with a letter from the Kyiv Motorist Club.