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Case Study - Fuel Marking

Significant taxation loss prevented by Tracerco's fuel marking technology

A major industrialised nation identified fuel adulteration practices as a major source of lost tax revenue. Due to the differential in taxation between consumer fuels (gasoline and diesel) and industrial solvents (benzene, toluene, hexane and kerosene in particular) fuel adulteration by addition of solvents to fuels had become endemic within the national market.

Money going down the drain

As well as lost tax revenue for the government (stated at between $450-$750 million), which in turn reduced the government's ability to spend on social programs, the fuel adulteration problem also led to poor air quality in urban areas and also serious damage to motor vehicles.

The government body responsible for fuel quality approached Tracerco to develop and implement a nationwide fuel marker program that would not only allow the full extent of fuel dilution to be identified within the supply chain but would also provide data that would allow prosecutions to be carried out.

After a relatively short period of project co-development with the government, Tracerco implemented a program, which involved adding a range of markers to domestically manufactured solvents and imports. In total, over a 120 million litres of solvent per month were marked

By using different markers for each solvent producer and importer, the source of any adulteration in the fuel could be traced, allowing appropriate prosecutions to take place.

In the first two years of the program over 1000 prosecutions were carried out by the government, significantly reducing the amount of adulterated fuel in the market, to the benefit of all citizens.

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