Legal obligations

Our powers to inspect retail fuel sites, under the Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Act, and your obligations.

The Fuel Quality Monitoring Programme

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is responsible for monitoring the quality of petrol and diesel fuels (including bio-fuels), according to the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations 2011. Regulation 7 (requirements relating to petrol sold by retail sale) and Regulation 9 (requirements relating to diesel sold by retail sale) require petrol and diesel that is sold to be fit for common purposes.

Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations 2011(external link)

To this end, MBIE has set up a nationwide Fuel Quality Monitoring Programme that regularly collects and tests fuel samples from retail fuel sites across New Zealand. This programme is administered and enforced by Trading Standards.

From time to time a representative of Trading Standards may visit retail fuel sites to carry out inspections, in order to ascertain if fuel is fit for its common purposes. These inspections help ensure a high level of confidence in the quality of fuel supplied to New Zealand consumers.

Trading Standards' powers

Section 35C (2) of the Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Act gives our representatives power to inspect and examine property, obtain information, enter land or buildings, and use reasonable force to conduct compliance checks.

This includes sighting and copying records and accounts, and taking samples of any petroleum, engine fuel, or goods capable of being used to make engine fuel.

Read Section 35(C) for the full details of our powers with regard to compliance checks:

Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Act 1989 — Section 35(C)(external link)

Trading Standards' visits

On arrival, our representative must:

  • produce their authorisation warrant, and
  • discuss the purpose of their visit with the site attendant.

Trading Standards representatives have a warrant card with a photograph, and an excerpt from Section 35C of the Act as an authorisation document (in accordance with Section 35).

Trading Standards representatives may:

  • ask questions related to fuel quality management on the forecourt
  • check the cleanliness of equipment
  • ask for a demonstration of testing for the presence of water in a storage tank
  • collect fuel samples on our behalf (under Regulation 21).

Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations 2011(external link)

Your obligations

You should pass this information on to all your retail site managers and duty managers, in order to avoid any confusion or delays when our authorised representatives make visits to your retail sites.

More information

If you have any questions about compliance visits, or want to discuss anything with us, get in touch.

Contact us