The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) is planning to start fuel marking in an attempt to curb fuel crimes such as illegal fuel vending and lack of fuel quality assurance, as the treasury is losing up to 30% in revenue through illegal fuel dealers, News Day reported.

To combat fuel fraud, a bio-chemical liquid, which acts as a fuel marker, will be introduced into the petroleum products at the loading depots prior to delivery to retail outlets. This means that any level of dilution is quickly detected and proper enforcement procedures are then initiated, according to All Africa.

Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s (ZIMRA) Acting Commissioner for Customs and Excise, Tichawona Chiradza, said: “ee expect that fuel marking will be implemented as early as January 2017. If all goes according to plan, the regulations will be gazetted by end of November.” The program is expected to enable Zimbabwe to reduce fuel smuggling and recover revenue that would have been lost through illegitimate sales and tax evasion.

ZERA is already working with global fuel authentication companies, Global Fluids International and Authentix, on institutional and technical requirements in implementing the measures. The two firms have been engaged to mark fuel in Tanzania and Ghana and have helped the two countries reduce fuel crimes, dropping the level of fuel adulteration that has resulted in increased tax revenue for the two governments.