API Engine Oil Licensing Fees to Rise Jan. 1

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Fees for the American Petroleum Institute’s Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System will increase effective Jan. 1, 2022, according to a letter sent to licensees earlier this month.

“The increase in fees helps to enhance EOLCS and [enables API to] continue to provide this valuable service to the industry in the long term,” Jeffrey Harmening, manager for API’s Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System program, said in the letter.

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Effective Jan. 1, 2022, under the revised EOLCS fee structure:

  • license application fee increases to $5,500, from $4,500.
  • license renewal fee increases to $5,500, from $4,500.
  • the royalty fee threshold of licensed oil sold decreases to 750,000 gallons, from 1 million gallons.
  • the volume-of-sale royalty fee increases to $0.008, from $0.007.

At the time of the annual license renewal, a licensee must report the volume of API-licensed engine oil sold. Effective Jan. 1, API will charge a royalty fee of $0.008 per gallon on each gallon reported in excess of 750,000 gallons. All API-licensed engine oil brands, whether sold in packages or in bulk, must be counted in the volume reported, according to the letter.

API noted that the application and renewal fees are per license, not per engine oil. So if a marketer submits an application for more than one oil, the application fee is still just $5,500.

The Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System is a voluntary licensing and certification program that authorizes engine oil marketers that meet specified requirements to use the API Engine Oil Quality Marks. Launched in 1993, API’s Engine Oil Program is a cooperative effort between the oil and additive industries and vehicle and engine manufacturers Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and those represented by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association. The performance requirements and test methods are established by vehicle and engine manufacturers and technical societies and trade associations, like ASTM, SAE and the American Chemistry Council.

The engine oil program is backed by a monitoring and enforcement program that ensures licensees adhere to program requirements. This includes running physical, chemical and performance tests on licensed engine oils and verifying that the API-registered quality marks, like the API Service Symbol donut and the API Certification starburst, are properly displayed on containers and convey accurate information to consumers.