|From the technical association of the European lubricants industry||11 August 2016|
The number of lubricant marketing companies that have signed a Letter of Conformance (LoC) to confirm compliance with the requirements of the European Engine Lubricants Quality Management System (EELQMS) has increased by 20% since the start of this year.
There have been 22 new LoC signatories in the first six months of 2016 compared with 26 in the previous 12 months. In total, some 132 lubricant marketers, both from across Europe and other parts of the world, have now signed and submitted an LoC to ATIEL, which administers the EELQMS on behalf of the key industry stakeholders in the quality system.
Among the new signatories in 2016 are lubricants companies based in Argentina, China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand, demonstrating the increasing global reach of both European lubricant performance specifications and the EELQMS.
The EELQMS was developed jointly by ACEA (The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association), ATC (The Technical Committee of Petroleum Additive Manufacturers in Europe) and ATIEL (The Technical Association of the European Lubricants Industry). It embraces various quality standards, test methods and procedures, together with industry Codes of Practice and the requirements of the ACEA European Oil Sequences.
Although voluntary, the EELQMS is the only system that can be used to support claims against the ACEA Sequences, which set the minimum performance specifications for lubricants used in different European automotive engine categories,and so enables lubricant marketers to include those performance claims on their product labelling.
Over the past 18 months ATIEL, whose Code of Practice forms a core part of the EELQMS, has stepped up promotion and training around the quality system as part of efforts to improve awareness and understanding of its role in making valid ACEA performance claims, and to safeguard the quality of engine lubricants in the marketplace.
There has also been increasing pressure from European OEMs to ensure that products in the market claiming ACEA performance have been developed in accordance with the EELQMS guidelines. The signing and submission of an LoC by the lubricant marketer, who is wholly responsible for the quality of the lubricant reaching the consumer together with any performance claims being made for it, is the final stage in the process to demonstrate commitment to the system.
More recently, ACEA has requested that signatories declare a list of all lubricant product brands that are covered by a LoC, as a way to provide greater transparency and assurance for consumers. Lubricant marketers will be required to provide this information to ATIEL as part of the renewal process for their LoCs later this year.
The current list of lubricant marketers that have signed an LoC is available on the ATIEL website.
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