Oil Code of Conduct

  • Wholesale suppliers and fuel resellers have rights and responsibilities under the Oil Code of Conduct.
  • The oil code is a mandatory code.
  • The code covers the sale, supply or purchase of declared petroleum products, such as unleaded petrol and diesel.

What the ACCC does

  • We monitor the effectiveness of the code.
  • We take reports about alleged breaches of the code.
  • We may take enforcement or other action.

What the ACCC can't do

  • We don’t get involved in disputes between suppliers and retailers.

About the oil code

Purpose of the code

The Oil Code of Conduct is a mandatory code covering the sale, supply or purchase of declared petroleum products.

The code regulates the conduct of suppliers, distributors and retailers of fuel.

Types of petroleum products covered by the code

Declared petroleum products include the following fuels:

  • unleaded petrol
  • a blend of unleaded petrol and ethanol
  • a blend of unleaded petrol and one or more biofuels, other than ethanol
  • premium unleaded petrol, other than premium unleaded petrol proprietary product
  • diesel fuel other than a diesel proprietary product.

Terminal gate price requirements

A terminal gate price is the wholesale price for a declared petroleum product.

The price is:

  • worked out on a temperature-corrected basis, for example at 15°C
  • expressed in cents per litre.

All wholesale suppliers must set a terminal gate price and display it each day on a website. More than one price may be set per day, however, the new price must replace all previous prices.

If the terminal gate price cannot be displayed on a publicly accessible website, the terminal gate price must be made available by phone or fax.

Fuel re-selling agreements between a supplier and retailer

About fuel re-selling agreements

Fuel re-selling agreements are contracts between a supplier and a retailer. These agreements have a minimum duration and the following terms:

  • the supplier grants the retailer the right to conduct a fuel re-selling business – the supplier has significant say over the operation of that business
  • the business will be associated with a trademark, commercial symbol or advertising owned, used, licensed or specified by the supplier
  • before starting the business, the retailer pays or agrees to pay a fee.

Before entering into a fuel re-selling agreement

There are some things retailers should know before entering into a fuel re-selling agreement.

Copy of the code and disclosure document to be received 14 days before

The supplier must give a copy of the code and a disclosure document to the retailer at least 14 days before:

  • entering into a fuel re-selling agreement, or
  • the retailer pays non-refundable money to the supplier in connection with the agreement.

The code sets out what information must be included in the disclosure document.

Fuel retailers should seek advice before entering into an agreement

Before entering into an agreement, a fuel retailer should get independent advice, such as:

  • legal
  • accounting
  • business
  • from their relevant trade association.

To enter into a fuel re-selling agreement, a retailer must provide a statement to the supplier confirming the retailer:

  • has obtained advice, or
  • has decided not to seek it.

After entering into a fuel re-selling agreement

Cooling-off period

A fuel retailer may end an agreement within 7 days after signing the agreement or paying any money under the agreement, whichever comes first.

Two sets of documents to be given to retailers

The code requires 2 sets of sales documents to be given to retailers.

The first document must be given at delivery and contain the following information:

  • the declared petroleum product supplied
  • volume supplied
  • price per temperature-corrected litre
  • the applicable posted terminal gate price.

If the price per temperature-corrected litre and the terminal gate price are available on a public website, they don’t need to be provided at delivery.

The second document must be given within 30 days of delivery and contain the following information:

  • the supplier’s name
  • the customer’s name
  • transaction date
  • the declared petroleum product supplied
  • volume supplied
  • the applicable posted terminal gate price
  • total price charged, worked out on a temperature-corrected basis
  • the details of any charges for extra services
  • the details of any discounts.

Both documents can be given at delivery.

Dispute resolution under the oil code

Suppliers and retailers should attempt to resolve a dispute themselves.

Mediation

Mediation is a good way to resolve disputes without going through complex and costly legal action. The parties to mediation must act in good faith.

A trained mediator can help resolve a dispute.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, or ASBFEO, can provide parties with information on the code and access to mediation services. ASBFEO maintains a specialist panel of trained mediators across each state and territory. All mediators are accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation Standards system.

Visit the ASBFEO website, email info@asbfeo.gov.au or call 1300 650 460.

Costs with resolving a dispute

Each party will be responsible for costs associated with the mediation or any help to resolve the dispute.

Subscribe to the oil code information network

The oil code information network is for petrol distributers and sellers, related business associations and advisors.

Find out about updates to the oil code and other industry news.

Sign up to oil code network

Report a problem to the ACCC

Suppliers and fuel retailers can report a problem to the ACCC if they think the code is not being followed. We use these reports to identify issues that need investigation.

Make a report to the ACCC

See also

Industry code compliance checks

Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes—Oil) Regulations 2017 (Oil Code)

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