API Lubricants Group approves revisions on provisional licensing

The Lubricants Group of the American Petroleum Institute (API) has approved revisions to the API 1509 provisional licensing requirements.

“These revisions will allow API to consider provisional licensing when more than one test is considered unavailable or out of control,” explained Kevin Ferrick, senior manager of API’s Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS). “Under the original 1509 requirements, API could really only invoke provisional licensing one test at a time.”

Provisional licensing is provided under Section 6.7 of API 1509, a document which describes the voluntary API Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System.

API invoked provisional licensing for the Sequence VID on March 1. Provisional licensing was triggered when one of the engine tests for ILSAC GF-5/API SN passenger car motor oil specification, ASTM D7589 also known as the Sequence VID Test, became unavailable for candidate oil testing at both independent labs Intertek Automotive Research and Southwest Research Institute.

The current provisional licensing only applies to oil marketers that need to run the Sequence VID Test to qualify a formulation as ILSAC GF-5 and API SN with Resource Conserving.

According to Section 6.7, when a test is declared “out of control” or determined to be “unavailable,” API may grant a provisional license to an applicant if the candidate engine oil meets all API licensing requirements except for the test or tests that are “out of control” or “unavailable.”

After a test is “no longer out of control or unavailable” and API has forwarded this information to each licensee holding a provisional license, the licensee holding the provisional license must obtain a passing result on that test. At a minimum, the licensee will be given six months to obtain a passing result, but more time may be granted if test length or other factors warrant a longer testing period.

A replacement for the Sequence VID, the Sequence VIE, is currently under consideration by the API Lubricants Group. The VIE’s adoption as the VID replacement is contingent on results from a test survey currently being funded by API and the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

“We hope the VIE test survey that we are now conducting will provide us with the data we need to approve the VIE as a replacement for the VID,” said Ferrick.

If all goes as planned, the VIE will be adopted as an alternative to the VID sometime this summer, after equivalency test limits have been established.