FTC grants Gilbarco petition on flex fuel labeling requirements

By Erin Voegele | December 06, 2016

On Nov. 29, the Federal Trade Commission announced it has granted Gilbarco Inc. and other ethanol flex fuel retailers a partial exemption to its Fuel Rating Rule labeling requirements. The exemption allows retailers to slightly reduce the required label size when disclosing the ethanol content of flex fuels on the fuel selection buttons on retail pumps.

According to the FTC, Gilbarco, a retail fuel pump manufacturer, petitioned the agency for the exemption. The FTC also noted it previously granted similar exemptions for octane labels placed on fuel selection buttons.

The decision was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 2. The Federal Register posting explains the FTC established a rule for the new ethanol flex fuel rating and label in January 2016. That rule became effective in mid-July. The rule details label color scheme, shape, size, textual content, and font type and point size. According to the FTC, ethanol flex fuel labels must be orange, rectangular, and measure 3 inches wide by 2.2 inches long. The percentage of ethanol content is require to be printed in orange font within a 1 inch-deep black band across the top of the label. Under the band, the label must state “Use Only in Flex Fuel Vehicles/May Harm Other Engines.”

In its petition, Gilbarco requested an exemption for smaller label dimensions, to include the word “press” on the label’s black band, and for dome-shaped button labels for certain dispenser designs.

A full copy of FTC’s notice is available on the Federal Register website.