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Taxation and Customs Union
News article19 July 2017Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union1 min read

Study finds new fuel markers are more robust

Additional tax revenues could outweigh the costs of replacing the current Euromarker.

New chemical markers intended to be used in gas oil (diesel) and kerosene are more resilient to fraud than the one currently applied, and introducing a new marker might cost less than Member States currently lose in tax revenues.

EU law allows Member States to levy lower tax on fuel used for heating, in agriculture or in marine transport and it is normally tagged with a chemical marker. The diesel for cars that is sold at the standard rate does not contain chemical markers. By removing the chemical marker from heating oil, fraudsters can sell it as regular fuel and pocket in the price difference.

A number of Member States have repeatedly notified the European Commission that the current common fiscal marker is easy to remove and that it causes massive losses of tax revenues.

As a response the European Commission published an open call to find a new marker. The current marker, known as Solvent Yellow 124 or SY124, serves as a pan-European marker since 2001.

The Commission's Joint Research Center tested several new candidate markers and found one that is much better than all others. The Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) will continue the work to evaluate the safety of the candidate markers to the environment and human health.


Publication date
19 July 2017
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union