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API updates guidelines for bulk engine oil chain of custody

API updates guidelines for bulk engine oil chain of custody
Photo courtesy of bp

The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced the publication of the second edition of API 1525A – Bulk Engine Oil Chain of Custody and Quality Documentation. The publication provides procedures for managing the bulk engine oil chain of custody to ensure oil quality from the point of manufacture to installation in a consumer’s engine. 

Updates were made due to modernization of processes in the supply chain and to harmonize the standard with the current edition of NIST Handbook 130 – Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Fuel Quality.

All parties involved with supplying finished bulk engine oil to consumers have a role in protecting the quality of the oil throughout the supply chain. Responsibility for quality starts with the oil manufacturer or marketer and ends with the installer. The blender, the transporter/distributor and the installer that originally ordered the product have a role in ensuring the quality of the engine oil received matches the quality ordered. API 1525A, provided at no cost,  describes the requirements incumbent upon each of these roles to ensure engine oil quality is maintained.

The procedures specifically address several topics.

  • Marketer/blender practices which includes implementation of a quality testing and tracking system to allow identification of and assure conformance to the API service category claimed for every batch of engine oil delivered to distributors and installers.
  • The importance of proper ordering and receipt of bulk engine oils and appropriate chain of custody documentation that identifies the bulk engine oil throughout the supply system,
  • Requirements for informing consumers about the types of engine oil available for installation and requirements for notification (written and/or electronic) of the oil installed in engines.

“Oil marketers, distributors and installers of engine oil who use API 1525A and have committed to supplying API-licensed engine oils will ensure that consumers always receive high-quality oil,” said API Senior Manager Jeffrey Harmening. “Oils meeting API specifications will provide the required protection for today’s modern engines and enable them to operate optimally and efficiently which in turn reduces their carbon footprint.”

API 1525A forms the basis for the API Motor Oil Matters (MOM). The program licenses oil change locations and provides benefits for installers and their customers. MOM-licensed oil-change locations and distributors certify that they meet the requirements set forth in API 1525A.

Licensed locations commit to dispensing oils meeting API performance standards and permit API to sample their bulk oils as part of the API aftermarket audit program, ensuring they are pouring the oil as stated to their customers. Licensed installers and distributors also meet the regulations for chain-of-custody enshrined in NIST Handbook 130, as adopted by the National Conference on Weights and Measures annually.