API Fights Against Unauthorized Labels


The American Petroleum Institute is posting information on unauthorized oils displaying API engine oil certification marks on a new web page, as part of a continuing effort to call out counterfeiters.

“API has concerns about oils in the marketplace that are using the API engine oil marks without API approval and believes a more aggressive approach is now needed to call out these oils,” said Kevin Ferrick, director of API’s Products Programs.

The institute works with a vendor that sends out collectors to procure samples of API licensed oils for testing. The oils are purchased in the marketplace and then tested to establish their physical, chemical and performance properties. Results from the tests are compared to formulations on file to ensure the results are consistent with API’s records and meet the program requirements.

During the collection process, API also tests non-licensed oils that claim to meet an API standard. “If we find issues with any oils tested, we notify the marketers of the results,” said Ferrick. Unresolved nonconformance issues are subject to additional enforcement actions. Actions may include termination of the license to display the API marks and removal of noncomplying product from the marketplace, he continued.

Oils found in the marketplace that API determines are not licensed are posted on a new webpage that features details about the marketer, brand, viscosity and region the product is sold in, as well as a photo of the front and back labels. Currently, the website has six oils listed, all from marketer Questron Packaging, LLC.

“API will make every effort to contact the counterfeiters and demand that the products be recalled from the marketplace,” Ferrick told Lube Report in an interview.

At this time, the only products on the list are being sold in the United States, but Ferrick noted that API samples globally, and if the sample collectors find an oil from outside the U.S. that API determines is counterfeit, it goes on the list.

This list works alongside APIs previously established efforts to fight against unauthorized users of the API certification label. “We have and will continue to list engine oils whose license has been canceled for cause due to inaction on reporting nonconformities. This listing can be found on the Engine Oil Directory of Licensees,” noted Ferrick.