The Ministry of Science and Technology has begun checks on the quality of imported fuel at the Laos-Thai Friendship Bridge in Vientiane.
A ceremony to initiate the checks took place yesterday and was attended by the Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Dr Boviengkham Vongdara, deputy ministers and representatives from relevant departments and petroleum companies.
Speaking at the event, Acting Director General of the Standardisation and Metrology Department, Mr Viengthong Vongthavilay, said in recent years there have been a growing number of demands for fuel quality inspections by members of the public.
Consumers and business operators have complained that fuel sold and distributed within the country is sometimes of poor quality. Numerous complaints have been lodged via hotline numbers operated by the National Assembly and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
In light of this, the department, with guidance from ministry leaders, partnered with other sectors to create legislation, train personnel and prepare facilities to carry out fuel quality checks, he said.
This will help to ensure that imported fuel sold throughout the country meets national and international standards and responds to the demands of the public in protecting consumers, Mr Viengthong added.
In June, the ministry issued an announcement on the implementation of fuel quality checks to the Petroleum and Gas Group Association, petroleum companies and enterprises, and anyone involved in the production, processing, import and export, or provision of fuel services.
“We will start the checks here today and continue to other border checkpoints around the country,” Mr Viengthong said.
The department will first inspect the documents that certify the quality of imported fuel and collect fuel samples from tankers for testing at border checkpoints.
It will then carry out checks in the laboratory at the standard certification and quality inspection centre.
In addition, the department will inspect the fuel dispensed at petroleum warehouses and petrol stations while the centre will prepare mobile fuel testing vehicles after being asked to do so by members of the public.
It will also offer a hotline number that operators, consumers and the general public can call to provide information about issues concerning dirty fuel.
There are currently 22 oil businesses operating in the country. Three of them – PTT, Petro Vietnam and Petrolimex – are foreign owned. There are over 1,200 petrol stations throughout the country, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
All of the petroleum products are imported from neighbouring countries, mostly Thailand and Vietnam.
Source: Vientiane Times