Law changed to help ease fuel supply chain issues

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The UK Government has made the supply chain temporarily exempt from the Competition Act 1998 which prohibits any business practice, agreement, or conduct which could have a damaging effect on competition in the UK.

The government has exempted the supply chain industry from the Competition Act 1998, in the wake of a fuel crisis, for the purpose of sharing information to optimise supply, and avoid further disruption.

In recent weeks, the fuel shortage crisis has gained considerable attention as the country attempts to deal with a range of other shortages, including HGV driver shortages and food shortages.

It is hoped that the exemption to the above act will allow the prioritisation of the delivery of fuel to parts of the country that need it most, as well as “strategic locations”.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary said: “We have  long-standing  contingency plans in place to work with industry so that fuel supplies can be maintained and deliveries can still be made in the event of a serious disruption.

“We are aware that there have been some issues with supply chains. This is why we will enact the Downstream Oil Protocol to ensure industry can share vital information and work together more effectively to ensure disruption is minimised.”

The introduction of the exemption comes alongside a number of other measures the government has implemented to help ease the current supply chain crisis. These include an “immediate increase” in HGV driver testing, short term visas for HGV drivers, and skills training for 3000 more people to become drivers.

In a joint statement, stakeholders, including XPO, Wincanton, Fuels Transport and Logistics, and others said: “We will continue to work closely in partnership over this period with local and national government and want to reassure the public that the issues that have arisen are due to temporary spikes in customer demand, not a national shortage of fuel.”

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