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News article18 July 2018

Replenishing our stock of gas oil reference material certified for Euromarker Solvent Yellow 124

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The JRC released a new batch of a certified reference material (CRM) - ERM®-EF318k - consisting of gas oil that contains the Euromarker Solvent Yellow 124 to prevent taxation fraud. This CRM is highly requested, as it is essential for checking the proper use of energy fuel products within the European Union.

According to Council Directive 95/60/EC , all gas oil and kerosene products in Europe are taxed at a rate different from those used as propellants.

There is a need for marking the products aimed at counteracting the fraudulent use of energy products that are exempt from excise duty or subject to a reduced excise duty rate.

In 1995, the European Commission introduced a common marker, the so-called Euromarker, to facilitate harmonisation of excise duties on mineral oils.

In a study that lasted from 1996 to 2000, Solvent Yellow 124 was selected as the common marker. It was introduced in the European Union from 1 August 2002 with a lower marking level of at least 6 mg/L (Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/74). In 2003, the upper marking level was set at 9 mg/L. In 2005, the JRC released two CRMs, one at the marking level of 6 mg/L (ERM-EF318) and the other at 0.12 mg/L (ERM-EF317).

Since then, these reference materials have been heavily used in testing laboratories to ensure correctness of the measurements and are particularly important to support legal actions when misuse of fuel oils is detected. Since ERM-EF318 was sold out in 2016, JRC has now produced a new batch for the high marking level material, ERM-EF318k. The material at the low level, ERM-EF317, continues to be available.

This CRM is widely used by European customs and testing laboratories to ensure the accuracy of the measurements for control checks of marked fuels.

Details about material sampling, processing, characterisation and certification are described in the certification report, available together with the certificate in the online catalogue (insert link here).

Related Content


Certified Reference Materials Catalogue of the JRC


Publication date
18 July 2018