The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Friday that the more than two year long-brewed "Administrant and technical criterion for wholesale enterprise of refined oil product" would take effect on May 1.
This criterion orders refined oil product enterprises to have at least 15 days of oil reserve on the basis of last year's average sales volume, a move to better stabilize market order.
"This practice has drawn lessons from foreign countries in a bid to enhance the government's regulating capabilities of the market," said an official from the Department of Commercial Reform and Development of the MOFCOM on its website.
The government is encouraging refined oil wholesale companies to take a scalization and intensive path, he added.
Those refined oil product wholesalers' annual sales volumes should surpass 100,000 tons, stipulated the criterion.
Oil products wholesalers must have a minimum storage capacity of 10,000 cubic meters and a one-time crude oil processing capacity of more than one million tons, it said.
In a similar development, the "Administrant and technical criterion for storage enterprise of refined oil product" set the thresholds for relevant players to get into the market, according to the official.
"Against the backdrop of diversified operating entities, different oil source channels and differentialities of services, to formulate industry standards that are in line with both national conditions and industry characteristics, is an important step to foster the healthy development of the industry," the ministry said.
The two criterions also specified the health, safety and environmental management systems that relevant companies should obey.
As part of China's World Trade Organization accession commitment, the country opened up its oil retail and wholesale markets to foreigners respectively on December 11, 2004 and December 11, 2006.
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2008)