15 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2010 Edition
Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 55 - PETROLEUM MARKETING PRACTICES
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 55—PETROLEUM MARKETING PRACTICES

SUBCHAPTER I—FRANCHISE PROTECTION

Sec.
2801.
Definitions.
2802.
Franchise relationship.
2803.
Trial and interim franchises.
2804.
Notification of termination or nonrenewal of franchise relationship.
2805.
Enforcement provisions.
2806.
Relationship of statutory provisions to State and local laws.
2807.
Prohibition on restriction of installation of renewable fuel pumps.

        

SUBCHAPTER II—OCTANE DISCLOSURE

2821.
Definitions.
2822.
Automotive fuel rating testing and disclosure requirements.
2823.
Administration and enforcement provisions.
2824.
Relationship of statutory provisions to State and local laws.

        

SUBCHAPTER III—SUBSIDIZATION OF MOTOR FUEL MARKETING

2841.
Study by Secretary of Energy.

        

SUBCHAPTER I—FRANCHISE PROTECTION

§2801. Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

(1)(A) The term “franchise” means any contract—

(i) between a refiner and a distributor,

(ii) between a refiner and a retailer,

(iii) between a distributor and another distributor, or

(iv) between a distributor and a retailer,


under which a refiner or distributor (as the case may be) authorizes or permits a retailer or distributor to use, in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel, a trademark which is owned or controlled by such refiner or by a refiner which supplies motor fuel to the distributor which authorizes or permits such use.

(B) The term “franchise” includes—

(i) any contract under which a retailer or distributor (as the case may be) is authorized or permitted to occupy leased marketing premises, which premises are to be employed in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel under a trademark which is owned or controlled by such refiner or by a refiner which supplies motor fuel to the distributor which authorizes or permits such occupancy;

(ii) any contract pertaining to the supply of motor fuel which is to be sold, consigned or distributed—

(I) under a trademark owned or controlled by a refiner; or

(II) under a contract which has existed continuously since May 15, 1973, and pursuant to which, on May 15, 1973, motor fuel was sold, consigned or distributed under a trademark owned or controlled on such date by a refiner; and


(iii) the unexpired portion of any franchise, as defined by the preceding provisions of this paragraph, which is transferred or assigned as authorized by the provisions of such franchise or by any applicable provision of State law which permits such transfer or assignment without regard to any provision of the franchise.


(2) The term “franchise relationship” means the respective motor fuel marketing or distribution obligations and responsibilities of a franchisor and a franchisee which result from the marketing of motor fuel under a franchise.

(3) The term “franchisor” means a refiner or distributor (as the case may be) who authorizes or permits, under a franchise, a retailer or distributor to use a trademark in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel.

(4) The term “franchisee” means a retailer or distributor (as the case may be) who is authorized or permitted, under a franchise, to use a trademark in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel.

(5) The term “refiner” means any person engaged in the refining of crude oil to produce motor fuel, and includes any affiliate of such person.

(6) The term “distributor” means any person, including any affiliate of such person, who—

(A) purchases motor fuel for sale, consignment, or distribution to another; or

(B) receives motor fuel on consignment for consignment or distribution to his own motor fuel accounts or to accounts of his supplier, but shall not include a person who is an employee of, or merely serves as a common carrier providing transportation service for, such supplier.


(7) The term “retailer” means any person who purchases motor fuel for sale to the general public for ultimate consumption.

(8) The term “marketing premises” means, in the case of any franchise, premises which, under such franchise, are to be employed by the franchisee in connection with sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel.

(9) The term “leased marketing premises” means marketing premises owned, leased, or in any way controlled by a franchisor and which the franchisee is authorized or permitted, under the franchise, to employ in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel.

(10) The term “contract” means any oral or written agreement. For supply purposes, delivery levels during the same month of the previous year shall be prima facie evidence of an agreement to deliver such levels.

(11) The term “trademark” means any trademark, trade name, service mark, or other identifying symbol or name.

(12) The term “motor fuel” means gasoline and diesel fuel of a type distributed for use as a fuel in self-propelled vehicles designed primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways.

(13) The term “failure” does not include—

(A) any failure which is only technical or unimportant to the franchise relationship;

(B) any failure for a cause beyond the reasonable control of the franchisee; or

(C) any failure based on a provision of the franchise which is illegal or unenforceable under the law of any State (or subdivision thereof).


(14) The terms “fail to renew” and “nonrenewal” mean, with respect to any franchise relationship, a failure to reinstate, continue, or extend the franchise relationship—

(A) at the conclusion of the term, or on the expiration date, stated in the relevant franchise;

(B) at any time, in the case of the relevant franchise which does not state a term of duration or an expiration date; or

(C) following a termination (on or after June 19, 1978) of the relevant franchise which was entered into prior to June 19, 1978, and has not been renewed after such date.


(15) The term “affiliate” means any person who (other than by means of a franchise) controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, any other person.

(16) The term “relevant geographic market area” includes a State or a standard metropolitan statistical area as periodically established by the Office of Management and Budget.

(17) The term “termination” includes cancellation.

(18) The term “commerce” means any trade, traffic, transportation, exchange, or other commerce—

(A) between any State and any place outside of such State; or

(B) which affects any trade, transportation, exchange, or other commerce described in subparagraph (A).


(19) The term “State” means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §101, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 322; Pub. L. 103–371, §6, Oct. 19, 1994, 108 Stat. 3486; Pub. L. 110–140, title II, §241(c)(1), Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1540.)

Amendments

2007—Par. (13)(C). Pub. L. 110–140 aligned margins.

1994—Par. (13)(C). Pub. L. 103–371 added subpar. (C).

Effective Date of 2007 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–140 effective on the date that is 1 day after Dec. 19, 2007, see section 1601 of Pub. L. 110–140, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1824 of Title 2, The Congress.

Short Title of 1994 Amendment

Section 1 of Pub. L. 103–371 provided that: “This Act [amending this section and sections 2802, 2805, and 2806 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Petroleum Marketing Practices Act Amendments of 1994’.”

Short Title

Section 1 of Pub. L. 95–297 provided: “That this Act [enacting this chapter and provisions set out as a note under section 2822 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Petroleum Marketing Practices Act’.”

§2802. Franchise relationship

(a) General prohibition against termination or nonrenewal

Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section and section 2803 of this title, no franchisor engaged in the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel in commerce may—

(1) terminate any franchise (entered into or renewed on or after June 19, 1978) prior to the conclusion of the term, or the expiration date, stated in the franchise; or

(2) fail to renew any franchise relationship (without regard to the date on which the relevant franchise was entered into or renewed).

(b) Precondition and grounds for termination or nonrenewal

(1) Any franchisor may terminate any franchise (entered into or renewed on or after June 19, 1978) or may fail to renew any franchise relationship, if—

(A) the notification requirements of section 2804 of this title are met; and

(B) such termination is based upon a ground described in paragraph (2) or such nonrenewal is based upon a ground described in paragraph (2) or (3).


(2) For purposes of this subsection, the following are grounds for termination of a franchise or nonrenewal of a franchise relationship:

(A) A failure by the franchisee to comply with any provision of the franchise, which provision is both reasonable and of material significance to the franchise relationship, if the franchisor first acquired actual or constructive knowledge of such failure—

(i) not more than 120 days prior to the date on which notification of termination or nonrenewal is given, if notification is given pursuant to section 2804(a) of this title; or

(ii) not more than 60 days prior to the date on which notification of termination or nonrenewal is given, if less than 90 days notification is given pursuant to section 2804(b)(1) of this title.


(B) A failure by the franchisee to exert good faith efforts to carry out the provisions of the franchise, if—

(i) the franchisee was apprised by the franchisor in writing of such failure and was afforded a reasonable opportunity to exert good faith efforts to carry out such provisions; and

(ii) such failure thereafter continued within the period which began not more than 180 days before the date notification of termination or nonrenewal was given pursuant to section 2804 of this title.


(C) The occurrence of an event which is relevant to the franchise relationship and as a result of which termination of the franchise or nonrenewal of the franchise relationship is reasonable, if such event occurs during the period the franchise is in effect and the franchisor first acquired actual or constructive knowledge of such occurrence—

(i) not more than 120 days prior to the date on which notification of termination or nonrenewal is given, if notification is given pursuant to section 2804(a) of this title; or

(ii) not more than 60 days prior to the date on which notification of termination or nonrenewal is given, if less than 90 days notification is given pursuant to section 2804(b)(1) of this title.


(D) An agreement, in writing, between the franchisor and the franchisee to terminate the franchise or not to renew the franchise relationship, if—

(i) such agreement is entered into not more than 180 days prior to the date of such termination or, in the case of nonrenewal, not more than 180 days prior to the conclusion of the term, or the expiration date, stated in the franchise;

(ii) the franchisee is promptly provided with a copy of such agreement, together with the summary statement described in section 2804(d) of this title; and

(iii) within 7 days after the date on which the franchisee is provided a copy of such agreement, the franchisee has not posted by certified mail a written notice to the franchisor repudiating such agreement.


(E) In the case of any franchise entered into prior to June 19, 1978, and in the case of any franchise entered into or renewed on or after such date (the term of which is 3 years or longer, or with respect to which the franchisee was offered a term of 3 years or longer), a determination made by the franchisor in good faith and in the normal course of business to withdraw from the marketing of motor fuel through retail outlets in the relevant geographic market area in which the marketing premises are located, if—

(i) such determination—

(I) was made after the date such franchise was entered into or renewed, and

(II) was based upon the occurrence of changes in relevant facts and circumstances after such date;


(ii) the termination or nonrenewal is not for the purpose of converting the premises, which are the subject of the franchise, to operation by employees or agents of the franchisor for such franchisor's own account; and

(iii) in the case of leased marketing premises—

(I) the franchisor, during the 180-day period after notification was given pursuant to section 2804 of this title, either made a bona fide offer to sell, transfer, or assign to the franchisee such franchisor's interests in such premises, or, if applicable, offered the franchisee a right of first refusal of at least 45 days duration of an offer, made by another, to purchase such franchisor's interest in such premises; or

(II) in the case of the sale, transfer, or assignment to another person of the franchisor's interest in such premises in connection with the sale, transfer, or assignment to such other person of the franchisor's interest in one or more other marketing premises, if such other person offers, in good faith, a franchise to the franchisee on terms and conditions which are not discriminatory to the franchisee as compared to franchises then currently being offered by such other person or franchises then in effect and with respect to which such other person is the franchisor.


(3) For purposes of this subsection, the following are grounds for nonrenewal of a franchise relationship:

(A) The failure of the franchisor and the franchisee to agree to changes or additions to the provisions of the franchise, if—

(i) such changes or additions are the result of determinations made by the franchisor in good faith and in the normal course of business; and

(ii) such failure is not the result of the franchisor's insistence upon such changes or additions for the purpose of converting the leased marketing premises to operation by employees or agents of the franchisor for the benefit of the franchisor or otherwise preventing the renewal of the franchise relationship.


(B) The receipt of numerous bona fide customer complaints by the franchisor concerning the franchisee's operation of the marketing premises, if—

(i) the franchisee was promptly apprised of the existence and nature of such complaints following receipt of such complaints by the franchisor; and

(ii) if such complaints related to the condition of such premises or to the conduct of any employee of such franchisee, the franchisee did not promptly take action to cure or correct the basis of such complaints.


(C) A failure by the franchisee to operate the marketing premises in a clean, safe, and healthful manner, if the franchisee failed to do so on two or more previous occasions and the franchisor notified the franchisee of such failures.

(D) In the case of any franchise entered into prior to June 19, 1978, (the unexpired term of which, on such date, is 3 years or longer) and, in the case of any franchise entered into or renewed on or after such date (the term of which was 3 years or longer, or with respect to which the franchisee was offered a term of 3 years or longer), a determination made by the franchisor in good faith and in the normal course of business, if—

(i) such determination is—

(I) to convert the leased marketing premises to a use other than the sale or distribution of motor fuel,

(II) to materially alter, add to, or replace such premises,

(III) to sell such premises, or

(IV) that renewal of the franchise relationship is likely to be uneconomical to the franchisor despite any reasonable changes or reasonable additions to the provisions of the franchise which may be acceptable to the franchisee;


(ii) with respect to a determination referred to in subclause (II) or (IV), such determination is not made for the purpose of converting the leased marketing premises to operation by employees or agents of the franchisor for such franchisor's own account; and

(iii) in the case of leased marketing premises such franchisor, during the 90-day period after notification was given pursuant to section 2804 of this title, either—

(I) made a bona fide offer to sell, transfer, or assign to the franchisee such franchisor's interests in such premises; or

(II) if applicable, offered the franchisee a right of first refusal of at least 45-days duration of an offer, made by another, to purchase such franchisor's interest in such premises.

(c) Definition

As used in subsection (b)(2)(C) of this section, the term “an event which is relevant to the franchise relationship and as a result of which termination of the franchise or nonrenewal of the franchise relationship is reasonable” includes events such as—

(1) fraud or criminal misconduct by the franchisee relevant to the operation of the marketing premises;

(2) declaration of bankruptcy or judicial determination of insolvency of the franchisee;

(3) continuing severe physical or mental disability of the franchisee of at least 3 months duration which renders the franchisee unable to provide for the continued proper operation of the marketing premises;

(4) loss of the franchisor's right to grant possession of the leased marketing premises through expiration of an underlying lease, if—

(A) the franchisee was notified in writing, prior to the commencement of the term of the then existing franchise—

(i) of the duration of the underlying lease; and

(ii) of the fact that such underlying lease might expire and not be renewed during the term of such franchise (in the case of termination) or at the end of such term (in the case of nonrenewal);


(B) during the 90-day period after notification was given pursuant to section 2804 of this title, the franchisor offers to assign to the franchisee any option to extend the underlying lease or option to purchase the marketing premises that is held by the franchisor, except that the franchisor may condition the assignment upon receipt by the franchisor of—

(i) an unconditional release executed by both the landowner and the franchisee releasing the franchisor from any and all liability accruing after the date of the assignment for—

(I) financial obligations under the option (or the resulting extended lease or purchase agreement);

(II) environmental contamination to (or originating from) the marketing premises; or

(III) the operation or condition of the marketing premises; and


(ii) an instrument executed by both the landowner and the franchisee that ensures the franchisor and the contractors of the franchisor reasonable access to the marketing premises for the purpose of testing for and remediating any environmental contamination that may be present at the premises; and


(C) in a situation in which the franchisee acquires possession of the leased marketing premises effective immediately after the loss of the right of the franchisor to grant possession (through an assignment pursuant to subparagraph (B) or by obtaining a new lease or purchasing the marketing premises from the landowner), the franchisor (if requested in writing by the franchisee not later than 30 days after notification was given pursuant to section 2804 of this title), during the 90-day period after notification was given pursuant to section 2804 of this title—

(i) made a bona fide offer to sell, transfer, or assign to the franchisee the interest of the franchisor in any improvements or equipment located on the premises; or

(ii) if applicable, offered the franchisee a right of first refusal (for at least 45 days) of an offer, made by another person, to purchase the interest of the franchisor in the improvements and equipment.


(5) condemnation or other taking, in whole or in part, of the marketing premises pursuant to the power of eminent domain;

(6) loss of the franchisor's right to grant the right to use the trademark which is the subject of the franchise, unless such loss was due to trademark abuse, violation of Federal or State law, or other fault or negligence of the franchisor, which such abuse, violation, or other fault or negligence is related to action taken in bad faith by the franchisor;

(7) destruction (other than by the franchisor) of all or a substantial part of the marketing premises;

(8) failure by the franchisee to pay to the franchisor in a timely manner when due all sums to which the franchisor is legally entitled;

(9) failure by the franchisee to operate the marketing premises for—

(A) 7 consecutive days, or

(B) such lesser period which under the facts and circumstances constitutes an unreasonable period of time;


(10) willful adulteration, mislabeling or misbranding of motor fuels or other trademark violations by the franchisee;

(11) knowing failure of the franchisee to comply with Federal, State, or local laws or regulations relevant to the operation of the marketing premises; and

(12) conviction of the franchisee of any felony involving moral turpitude.

(d) Compensation, etc., for franchisee upon condemnation or destruction of marketing premises

In the case of any termination of a franchise (entered into or renewed on or after June 19, 1978), or in the case of any nonrenewal of a franchise relationship (without regard to the date on which such franchise relationship was entered into or renewed)—

(1) if such termination or nonrenewal is based upon an event described in subsection (c)(5) of this section, the franchisor shall fairly apportion between the franchisor and the franchisee compensation, if any, received by the franchisor based upon any loss of business opportunity or good will; and

(2) if such termination or nonrenewal is based upon an event described in subsection (c)(7) of this section and the leased marketing premises are subsequently rebuilt or replaced by the franchisor and operated under a franchise, the franchisor shall, within a reasonable period of time, grant to the franchisee a right of first refusal of the franchise under which such premises are to be operated.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §102, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 324; Pub. L. 103–371, §§2, 3, Oct. 19, 1994, 108 Stat. 3484.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (b)(3)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 103–371, §2, inserted “converting the leased marketing premises to operation by employees or agents of the franchisor for the benefit of the franchisor or otherwise” after “purpose of”.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 103–371, §3, redesignated portion of introductory language of par. (4) as subpar. (A), redesignated former subpars. (A) and (B) as cls. (i) and (ii), respectively, of subpar. (A), and added subpars. (B) and (C).

§2803. Trial and interim franchises

(a) Nonapplicability of statutory nonrenewal provisions

The provisions of section 2802 of this title shall not apply to the nonrenewal of any franchise relationship—

(1) under a trial franchise; or

(2) under an interim franchise.

(b) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) The term “trial franchise” means any franchise—

(A) which is entered into on or after June 19, 1978;

(B) the franchisee of which has not previously been a party to a franchise with the franchisor;

(C) the initial term of which is for a period of not more than 1 year; and

(D) which is in writing and states clearly and conspicuously—

(i) that the franchise is a trial franchise;

(ii) the duration of the initial term of the franchise;

(iii) that the franchisor may fail to renew the franchise relationship at the conclusion of the initial term stated in the franchise by notifying the franchisee, in accordance with the provisions of section 2804 of this title, of the franchisor's intention not to renew the franchise relationship; and

(iv) that the provisions of section 2802 of this title, limiting the right of a franchisor to fail to renew a franchise relationship, are not applicable to such trial franchise.


(2) The term “trial franchise” does not include any unexpired period of any term of any franchise (other than a trial franchise, as defined by paragraph (1)) which was transferred or assigned by a franchisee to the extent authorized by the provisions of the franchise or any applicable provision of State law which permits such transfer or assignment, without regard to any provision of the franchise.

(3) The term “interim franchise” means any franchise—

(A) which is entered into on or after June 19, 1978;

(B) the term of which, when combined with the terms of all prior interim franchises between the franchisor and the franchisee, does not exceed 3 years;

(C) the effective date of which occurs immediately after the expiration of a prior franchise, applicable to the marketing premises, which was not renewed if such nonrenewal—

(i) was based upon a determination described in section 2802(b)(2)(E) of this title, and

(ii) the requirements of section 2802(b)(2)(E) of this title were satisfied; and


(D) which is in writing and states clearly and conspicuously—

(i) that the franchise is an interim franchise;

(ii) the duration of the franchise; and

(iii) that the franchisor may fail to renew the franchise at the conclusion of the term stated in the franchise based upon a determination made by the franchisor in good faith and in the normal course of business to withdraw from the marketing of motor fuel through retail outlets in the relevant geographic market area in which the marketing premises are located if the requirements of section 2802(b)(2)(E)(ii) and (iii) of this title are satisfied.

(c) Nonrenewal upon meeting statutory notification requirements

If the notification requirements of section 2804 of this title are met, any franchisor may fail to renew any franchise relationship—

(1) under any trial franchise, at the conclusion of the initial term of such trial franchise; and

(2) under any interim franchise, at the conclusion of the term of such interim franchise, if—

(A) such nonrenewal is based upon a determination described in section 2802(b)(2)(E) of this title; and

(B) the requirements of section 2802(b)(2)(E)(ii) and (iii) of this title are satisfied.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §103, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 328.)

§2804. Notification of termination or nonrenewal of franchise relationship

(a) General requirements applicable to franchisor

Prior to termination of any franchise or nonrenewal of any franchise relationship, the franchisor shall furnish notification of such termination or such nonrenewal to the franchisee who is a party to such franchise or such franchise relationship—

(1) in the manner described in subsection (c) of this section; and

(2) except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, not less than 90 days prior to the date on which such termination or nonrenewal takes effect.

(b) Additional requirements applicable to franchisor

(1) In circumstances in which it would not be reasonable for the franchisor to furnish notification, not less than 90 days prior to the date on which termination or nonrenewal takes effect, as required by subsection (a)(2) of this section—

(A) such franchisor shall furnish notification to the franchisee affected thereby on the earliest date on which furnishing of such notification is reasonably practicable; and

(B) in the case of leased marketing premises, such franchisor—

(i) may not establish a new franchise relationship with respect to such premises before the expiration of the 30-day period which begins—

(I) on the date notification was posted or personally delivered, or

(II) if later, on the date on which such termination or nonrenewal takes effect; and


(ii) may, if permitted to do so by the franchise agreement, repossess such premises and, in circumstances under which it would be reasonable to do so, operate such premises through employees or agents.


(2) In the case of any termination of any franchise or any nonrenewal of any franchise relationship pursuant to the provisions of section 2802(b)(2)(E) of this title or section 2803(c)(2) of this title, the franchisor shall—

(A) furnish notification to the franchisee not less than 180 days prior to the date on which such termination or nonrenewal takes effect; and

(B) promptly provide a copy of such notification, together with a plan describing the schedule and conditions under which the franchisor will withdraw from the marketing of motor fuel through retail outlets in the relevant geographic area, to the Governor of each State which contains a portion of such area.

(c) Manner and form of notification

Notification under this section—

(1) shall be in writing;

(2) shall be posted by certified mail or personally delivered to the franchisee; and

(3) shall contain—

(A) a statement of intention to terminate the franchise or not to renew the franchise relationship, together with the reasons therefor;

(B) the date on which such termination or nonrenewal takes effect; and

(C) the summary statement prepared under subsection (d) of this section.

(d) Preparation, publication, etc., of statutory summaries

(1) Not later than 30 days after June 19, 1978, the Secretary of Energy shall prepare and publish in the Federal Register a simple and concise summary of the provisions of this subchapter, including a statement of the respective responsibilities of, and the remedies and relief available to, any franchisor and franchisee under this subchapter.

(2) In the case of summaries required to be furnished under the provisions of section 2802(b)(2)(D) of this title or subsection (c)(3)(C) of this section before the date of publication of such summary in the Federal Register, such summary may be furnished not later than 5 days after it is so published rather than at the time required under such provisions.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §104, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 329.)

§2805. Enforcement provisions

(a) Maintenance of civil action by franchisee against franchisor; jurisdiction and venue; time for commencement of action

If a franchisor fails to comply with the requirements of section 2802, 2803, or 2807 of this title, the franchisee may maintain a civil action against such franchisor. Such action may be brought, without regard to the amount in controversy, in the district court of the United States in any judicial district in which the principal place of business of such franchisor is located or in which such franchisee is doing business, except that no such action may be maintained unless commenced within 1 year after the later of—

(1) the date of termination of the franchise or nonrenewal of the franchise relationship; or

(2) the date the franchisor fails to comply with the requirements of section 2802, 2803, or 2807 of this title.

(b) Equitable relief by court; bond requirements; grounds for nonexercise of court's equitable powers

(1) In any action under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall grant such equitable relief as the court determines is necessary to remedy the effects of any failure to comply with the requirements of section 2802, 2803, or 2807 of this title, including declaratory judgment, mandatory or prohibitive injunctive relief, and interim equitable relief.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), in any action under subsection (a) of this section, the court shall grant a preliminary injunction if—

(A) the franchisee shows—

(i) the franchise of which he is a party has been terminated or the franchise relationship of which he is a party has not been renewed, and

(ii) there exist sufficiently serious questions going to the merits to make such questions a fair ground for litigation; and


(B) the court determines that, on balance, the hardships imposed upon the franchisor by the issuance of such preliminary injunctive relief will be less than the hardship which would be imposed upon such franchisee if such preliminary injunctive relief were not granted.


(3) Nothing in this subsection prevents any court from requiring the franchisee in any action under subsection (a) of this section to post a bond, in an amount established by the court, prior to the issuance or continuation of any equitable relief.

(4) In any action under subsection (a) of this section, the court need not exercise its equity powers to compel continuation or renewal of the franchise relationship if such action was commenced—

(A) more than 90 days after the date on which notification pursuant to section 2804(a) of this title was posted or personally delivered to the franchisee;

(B) more than 180 days after the date on which notification pursuant to section 2804(b)(2) of this title was posted or personally delivered to the franchisee; or

(C) more than 30 days after the date on which the termination of such franchise or the nonrenewal of such franchise relationship takes effect if less than 90 days notification was provided pursuant to section 2804(b)(1) of this title.

(c) Burden of proof; burden of going forward with evidence

In any action under subsection (a) of this section, the franchisee shall have the burden of proving the termination of the franchise or the nonrenewal of the franchise relationship. The franchisor shall bear the burden of going forward with evidence to establish as an affirmative defense that such termination or nonrenewal was permitted under section 2802(b) or 2803 of this title, and, if applicable, that such franchisor complied with the requirements of section 2802(d) of this title.

(d) Actual and exemplary damages and attorney and expert witness fees to franchisee; determination by court of right to exemplary damages and amount; attorney and expert witness fees to franchisor for frivolous actions

(1) If the franchisee prevails in any action under subsection (a) of this section, such franchisee shall be entitled—

(A) consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to actual damages;

(B) in the case of any such action which is based upon conduct of the franchisor which was in willful disregard of the requirements of section 2802, 2803, or 2807 of this title, or the rights of the franchisee thereunder, to exemplary damages, where appropriate; and

(C) to reasonable attorney and expert witness fees to be paid by the franchisor, unless the court determines that only nominal damages are to be awarded to such franchisee, in which case the court, in its discretion, need not direct that such fees be paid by the franchisor.


(2) The question of whether to award exemplary damages and the amount of any such award shall be determined by the court and not by a jury.

(3) In any action under subsection (a) of this section, the court may, in its discretion, direct that reasonable attorney and expert witness fees be paid by the franchisee if the court finds that such action is frivolous.

(e) Discretionary power of court to compel continuation or renewal of franchise relationship; grounds for noncompulsion; right of franchisee to actual damages and attorney and expert witness fees unaffected

(1) In any action under subsection (a) of this section with respect to a failure of a franchisor to renew a franchise relationship in compliance with the requirements of section 2802 of this title, the court may not compel a continuation or renewal of the franchise relationship if the franchisor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the court that—

(A) the basis for such nonrenewal is a determination made by the franchisor in good faith and in the normal course of business—

(i) to convert the leased marketing premises to a use other than the sale or distribution of motor fuel,

(ii) to materially alter, add to, or replace such premises,

(iii) to sell such premises,

(iv) to withdraw from the marketing of motor fuel through retail outlets in the relevant geographic market area in which the marketing premises are located, or

(v) that renewal of the franchise relationship is likely to be uneconomical to the franchisor despite any reasonable changes or reasonable additions to the provisions of the franchise which may be acceptable to the franchisee; and


(B) the requirements of section 2804 of this title have been complied with.


(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) shall not affect any right of any franchisee to recover actual damages and reasonable attorney and expert witness fees under subsection (d) of this section if such nonrenewal is prohibited by section 2802 of this title.

(f) Release or waiver of rights

(1) No franchisor shall require, as a condition of entering into or renewing the franchise relationship, a franchisee to release or waive—

(A) any right that the franchisee has under this subchapter or other Federal law; or

(B) any right that the franchisee may have under any valid and applicable State law.


(2) No provision of any franchise shall be valid or enforceable if the provision specifies that the interpretation or enforcement of the franchise shall be governed by the law of any State other than the State in which the franchisee has the principal place of business of the franchisee.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §105, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 331; Pub. L. 103–371, §4, Oct. 19, 1994, 108 Stat. 3485; Pub. L. 110–140, title II, §241(b), Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1540.)

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (d)(1), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Amendments

2007—Subsecs. (a), (b)(1), (d)(1)(B). Pub. L. 110–140 substituted “2802, 2803, or 2807” for “2802 or 2803” wherever appearing.

1994—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–371 added subsec. (f).

Effective Date of 2007 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–140 effective on the date that is 1 day after Dec. 19, 2007, see section 1601 of Pub. L. 110–140, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1824 of Title 2, The Congress.

§2806. Relationship of statutory provisions to State and local laws

(a) Termination or nonrenewal of franchise

(1) To the extent that any provision of this subchapter applies to the termination (or the furnishing of notification with respect thereto) of any franchise, or to the nonrenewal (or the furnishing of notification with respect thereto) of any franchise relationship, no State or any political subdivision thereof may adopt, enforce, or continue in effect any provision of any law or regulation (including any remedy or penalty applicable to any violation thereof) with respect to termination (or the furnishing of notification with respect thereto) of any such franchise or to the nonrenewal (or the furnishing of notification with respect thereto) of any such franchise relationship unless such provision of such law or regulation is the same as the applicable provision of this subchapter.

(2) No State or political subdivision of a State may adopt, enforce, or continue in effect any provision of law (including a regulation) that requires a payment for the goodwill of a franchisee on the termination of a franchise or nonrenewal of a franchise relationship authorized by this subchapter.

(b) Transfer or assignment of franchise

(1) Nothing in this subchapter authorizes any transfer or assignment of any franchise or prohibits any transfer or assignment of any franchise as authorized by the provisions of such franchise or by any applicable provision of State law which permits such transfer or assignment without regard to any provision of the franchise.

(2) Nothing in this subchapter shall prohibit any State from specifying the terms and conditions under which any franchise or franchise relationship may be transferred to the designated successor of a franchisee upon the death of the franchisee.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §106, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 332; Pub. L. 103–371, §5, Oct. 19, 1994, 108 Stat. 3485.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–371, §5(1), redesignated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–371, §5(2), redesignated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

§2807. Prohibition on restriction of installation of renewable fuel pumps

(a) Definition

In this section:

(1) Renewable fuel

The term “renewable fuel” means any fuel—

(A) at least 85 percent of the volume of which consists of ethanol; or

(B) any mixture of biodiesel and diesel or renewable diesel (as defined in regulations adopted pursuant to section 7545(o) of title 42 (40 CFR, part 80)), determined without regard to any use of kerosene and containing at least 20 percent biodiesel or renewable diesel.

(2) Franchise-related document

The term “franchise-related document” means—

(A) a franchise under this chapter; and

(B) any other contract or directive of a franchisor relating to terms or conditions of the sale of fuel by a franchisee.

(b) Prohibitions

(1) In general

No franchise-related document entered into or renewed on or after December 19, 2007, shall contain any provision allowing a franchisor to restrict the franchisee or any affiliate of the franchisee from—

(A) installing on the marketing premises of the franchisee a renewable fuel pump or tank, except that the franchisee's franchisor may restrict the installation of a tank on leased marketing premises of such franchisor;

(B) converting an existing tank or pump on the marketing premises of the franchisee for renewable fuel use, so long as such tank or pump and the piping connecting them are either warranted by the manufacturer or certified by a recognized standards setting organization to be suitable for use with such renewable fuel;

(C) advertising (including through the use of signage) the sale of any renewable fuel;

(D) selling renewable fuel in any specified area on the marketing premises of the franchisee (including any area in which a name or logo of a franchisor or any other entity appears);

(E) purchasing renewable fuel from sources other than the franchisor if the franchisor does not offer its own renewable fuel for sale by the franchisee;

(F) listing renewable fuel availability or prices, including on service station signs, fuel dispensers, or light poles; or

(G) allowing for payment of renewable fuel with a credit card,


so long as such activities described in subparagraphs (A) through (G) do not constitute mislabeling, misbranding, willful adulteration, or other trademark violations by the franchisee.

(2) Effect of provision

Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude a franchisor from requiring the franchisee to obtain reasonable indemnification and insurance policies.

(c) Exception to 3-grade requirement

No franchise-related document that requires that 3 grades of gasoline be sold by the applicable franchisee shall prevent the franchisee from selling a renewable fuel in lieu of 1, and only 1, grade of gasoline.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title I, §107, as added Pub. L. 110–140, title II, §241(a), Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1538.)

Effective Date

Section effective on the date that is 1 day after Dec. 19, 2007, see section 1601 of Pub. L. 110–140, set out as a note under section 1824 of Title 2, The Congress.

SUBCHAPTER II—OCTANE DISCLOSURE

§2821. Definitions

As used in this subchapter:

(1) The term “octane rating” means the rating of the antiknock characteristics of a grade or type of automotive fuel as determined by dividing by 2 the sum of the research octane number plus the motor octane number, unless another procedure is prescribed under section 2823(c)(3) of this title, in which case such term means the rating of such characteristics as determined under the procedure so prescribed.

(2) The terms “research octane number” and “motor octane number” have the meanings given such terms in the specifications of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) entitled “Standard Specification for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel” designated D4814 (as in effect on June 19, 1978) and, with respect to any grade or type of automotive gasoline, are determined in accordance with test methods set forth in ASTM standard test methods designated D 2699 and D 2700 (as in effect on such date).

(3) The term “knock” means the combustion of a fuel spontaneously in localized areas of a cylinder of a spark-ignition engine, instead of the combustion of such fuel progressing from the spark.

(4) The term “automotive fuel retailer” means any person who markets automotive fuel to the general public for ultimate consumption.

(5) The term “refiner” means any person engaged in the production or importation of automotive fuel.

(6) The term “automotive fuel” means liquid fuel of a type distributed for use as a fuel in any motor vehicle.

(7) The term “motor vehicle” means any self-propelled four-wheeled vehicle, of less than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, which is designed primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways.

(8) The term “new motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle the equitable or legal title to which has not previously been transferred to an ultimate purchaser.

(9) The term “ultimate purchaser” means, with respect to any item, the first person who purchases such item for purposes other than resale.

(10) The term “manufacturer” means any person who imports, manufactures, or assembles motor vehicles for sale.

(11) The term “automotive fuel requirement” means, with respect to automotive fuel for use in a motor vehicle or a class thereof, imported, manufactured, or assembled by a manufacturer, the minimum automotive fuel rating of such automotive fuel which such manufacturer recommends for the efficient operation of such motor vehicle, or a substantial portion of such class, without knocking.

(12) The term “model year” means a manufacturer's annual production period (as determined by the Federal Trade Commission) for motor vehicles or a class of motor vehicles. If a manufacturer has no annual production period, the term “model year” means the calendar year.

(13) The term “commerce” means any trade, traffic, transportation, exchange, or other commerce—

(A) between any State and any place outside of such State; or

(B) which affects any trade, transportation, exchange, or other commerce described in subparagraph (A).


(14) The term “State” means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(15) the term “person”, for purposes of applying any provision of the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] with respect to any provision of the subchapter, includes a partnership and a corporation.

(16) The term “distributor” means any person who receives automotive fuel and distributes such automotive fuel to another person other than the ultimate purchaser.

(17) The term “automotive fuel rating” means—

(A) the octane rating of an automotive spark-ignition engine fuel; and

(B) if provided for by the Federal Trade Commission by rule, the cetane rating of diesel fuel oils; or

(C) another form of rating determined by the Federal Trade Commission, after consultation with the American Society for Testing and Materials, to be more appropriate to carry out the purposes of this subchapter with respect to the automotive fuel concerned.


(18)(A) The term “cetane rating” means a measure, as indicated by a cetane index or cetane number, of the ignition quality of diesel fuel oil and of the influence of the diesel fuel oil on combustion roughness.

(B) The term “cetane index” and the term “cetane number” have the meanings determined in accordance with the test methods set forth in the American Society for Testing and Materials standard test methods—

(i) designated D976 or D4737 in the case of cetane index; and

(ii) designated D613 in the case of cetane number,


(as in effect on October 24, 1992) and shall apply to any grade or type of diesel fuel oils defined in the specification of the American Society for Testing and Materials entitled “Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils” designated D975 (as in effect on October 24, 1992).

(Pub. L. 95–297, title II, §201, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 333; Pub. L. 102–486, title XV, §1501(a)–(c)(1), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2996.)

References in Text

The Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in par. (15), is act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§41 et seq.) of chapter 2 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 58 of this title and Tables.

Codification

October 24, 1992, referred to in par. (18)(B), was in the original “the date of the enactment of this Act” and “such date”, which were translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 102–486, which enacted par. (18), to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Amendments

1992—Par. (1). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(1)(A), substituted “fuel” for “gasoline”.

Par. (2). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(1)(B), substituted “Standard Specification for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel” for “Standard Specifications for Automotive Gasoline” and “D4814 for “D 439”.

Par. (4). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(1)(C), substituted “automotive fuel” for first reference to “gasoline” and “fuel” for second reference to “gasoline”.

Par. (5). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(1)(D), added par. (5) and struck out former par. (5) which read as follows: “The term ‘refiner’ means any person engaged in—

“(A) the refining of crude oil to produce automotive gasoline; or

“(B) the importation of automotive gasoline.”

Par. (6). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(a), amended par. (6) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (6) read as follows: “The term ‘automotive gasoline’ means gasoline of a type distributed for use as a fuel in any motor vehicle.”

Par. (11). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(1)(E), substituted “automotive fuel” for “octane” before “requirement” and before “rating”, and “fuel” for “gasoline” before “for use” and before “which such”.

Par. (16). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(1)(F), substituted “automotive fuel” for “gasoline” in two places.

Pars. (17), (18). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(b), added pars. (17) and (18).

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Section 1501(d)(1) of Pub. L. 102–486 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 2822 and 2823 of this title] shall become effective at the end of the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 24, 1992].”

Regulations

Section 1501(d)(2) of Pub. L. 102–486 provided that: “The Federal Trade Commission shall, within 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 24, 1992], prescribe rules for the purpose of implementing the amendments made in this section [amending this section and sections 2822 and 2823 of this title].”

§2822. Automotive fuel rating testing and disclosure requirements

(a) Determination and certification of automotive fuel rating by refiner distributing automotive fuel

Each refiner who distributes automotive fuel in commerce shall—

(1) determine the automotive fuel rating of any such fuel; and

(2) if such refiner distributes such fuel to any person other than the ultimate purchaser, certify, consistent with the determination made under paragraph (1), the automotive fuel rating of such fuel.

(b) Certification of automotive fuel rating by distributor receiving and distributing automotive fuel with certified automotive fuel rating; use of automotive fuel rating for certification by distributor

Each distributor who receives automotive fuel, the automotive fuel rating of which is certified to him under this section, and distributes such fuel in commerce to another person other than the ultimate purchaser shall certify to such other person the automotive fuel rating of such fuel consistent with—

(1) the automotive fuel rating of such fuel certified to such distributor; or

(2) if such distributor elects (at such time and in such manner as the Federal Trade Commission may, by rule, prescribe), the automotive fuel rating of such fuel determined by such distributor.

(c) Display of automotive fuel rating by automotive fuel retailer; use of automotive fuel rating for display

Each automotive fuel retailer shall display in a clear and conspicuous manner, at the point of sale to ultimate purchasers of automotive fuel, the automotive fuel rating of such automotive fuel, which automotive fuel rating shall be consistent with—

(1) the automotive fuel rating of such automotive fuel certified to such retailer under subsection (a)(2) or (b) of this section;

(2) if such automotive fuel retailer elects (at such time and in such manner as the Federal Trade Commission may, by rule, prescribe), the automotive fuel rating of such automotive fuel determined by such retailer for such automotive fuel; or

(3) if such automotive fuel retailer is a refiner, the automotive fuel rating of such automotive fuel determined under subsection (a)(1) of this section.

(d) Display or representation of automotive fuel requirements for new motor vehicles by manufacturer of such vehicles; promulgation of rules by Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission shall, by rule, prescribe requirements, applicable to any manufacturer of new motor vehicles, with respect to the display on each such motor vehicle (or representation in connection with the sale of each such motor vehicle) of the automotive fuel requirement of such motor vehicle.

(e) Representation of antiknock characteristics of automotive fuel by person distributing automotive fuel; use of automotive fuel rating in representation

No person who distributes automotive fuel in commerce may make any representation respecting the antiknock characteristics of such fuel unless such representation fairly discloses the automotive fuel rating of such fuel consistent with such fuel's automotive fuel rating as certified to or determined by such person under the foregoing provisions of this section.

(f) Additional statutory considerations respecting certification, display, or representation of automotive fuel rating of automotive fuel

For purposes of this section, the automotive fuel rating of any automotive fuel shall be considered to be certified, displayed, or represented by any person consistent with the rating certified to, or determined by, such person—

(1) in the case of automotive fuel which consists of a blend of two or more quantities of automotive fuel of differing automotive fuel ratings, only if the rating certified, displayed, or represented by such person is the average of the automotive fuel ratings of such quantities, weighted by volume; or

(2) in the case of fuel which does not consist of such a blend, only if the automotive fuel rating such person certifies, displays, or represents is the same as the automotive fuel rating of such fuel certified to, or determined by, such person.

(g) Nonapplicability of statutory requirements

The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply—

(1) to any representation (by display at the point of sale or by other means) of any characteristics of any automotive fuel other than its automotive fuel rating; or

(2) to the identification of automotive fuel at the point of sale (or elsewhere) by the trademark, trade name, or other identifying symbol or mark used in connection with the sale of such fuel.

(h) Display or representation of automotive fuel requirement of motor vehicle not to create express or implied warranty under State or Federal law respecting knocking characteristics of automotive fuel

Any display or representation, with respect to the automotive fuel requirement of any motor vehicle, required to be made under any rule prescribed under subsection (d) of this section shall not create an express or implied warranty under State or Federal law that any automotive fuel the automotive fuel rating of which equals or exceeds such automotive fuel requirement—

(1) may be used as a fuel in all motor vehicles of the same class as that motor vehicle without knocking; or

(2) may be used as a fuel in such motor vehicle under all operating conditions without knocking.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title II, §202, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 334; Pub. L. 102–486, title XV, §1501(c)(2), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2997.)

Amendments

1992—Pub. L. 102–486 amended section as follows: substituted “Automotive fuel rating” for “Octane” in section catchline; substituted “automotive fuel rating” and “automotive fuel ratings” for “octane rating” and “octane ratings”, respectively, wherever appearing; in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “fuel” for “gasoline” wherever appearing; in subsec. (c), substituted “automotive fuel” for “gasoline” wherever appearing except that “fuel” substituted for second reference to “gasoline”; in subsec. (d), substituted “automotive fuel” for “octane”; in subsec. (e), substituted “fuel” for “gasoline” wherever appearing and substituted “fuel's” for “gasoline's”; in subsecs. (f), (g), and (h), substituted “fuel” for “gasoline” wherever appearing; and in subsec. (h), substituted “automotive fuel requirement” for “octane requirement” wherever appearing.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–486 effective at end of one-year period beginning Oct. 24, 1992, see section 1501(d)(1) of Pub. L. 102–486, set out as a note under section 2821 of this title.

Effective Date

Section 205 of Pub. L. 95–297 provided that:

“(a) Sections 202(a)(1) [subsec. (a)(1) of this section] and 203(b) [section 2823(b) of this title] shall take effect on the first day of the first calendar month beginning more than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [June 19, 1978].

“(b) Subsections (a)(2), (b), (c), and (e) of section 202 [subsecs. (a)(2), (b), (c), and (e) of this section] shall take effect on the first day of the first calendar month beginning more than 9 months after such date of enactment [June 19, 1978].

“(c) Rules under section 202(d) [subsec. (d) of this section] may not take effect earlier than the beginning of the first motor vehicle model year which begins more than 9 months after such date of enactment [June 19, 1978].”

Studies

Section 1503 of Pub. L. 102–486 directed Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency to carry out a study to determine whether the anti-knock characteristics of nonliquid fuels usable as a fuel for motor vehicles could be determined and further directed Federal Trade Commission to carry out a study to determine the need for a uniform national label on devices used to dispense automotive fuel to consumers that would consolidate all information required by Federal law to be posted on such devices, with reports of the results of the studies to be submitted to Congress within one year of Oct. 24, 1992, together with recommendations and a description of the administrative and legislative actions needed to implement the recommendations.

§2823. Administration and enforcement provisions

(a) Procedural, investigative, and enforcement powers of Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission shall have procedural, investigative, and enforcement powers, including the power to issue procedural rules in enforcing compliance with the requirements of this subchapter and rules prescribed pursuant to the requirements of this subchapter, to further define terms used in this subchapter, and to require the filing of reports, the production of documents, and the appearance of witnesses, as though the applicable terms and conditions of the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] were part of this subchapter.

(b) Testing, certification, and notice requirements of Environmental Protection Agency; interagency enforcement agreements between Federal Trade Commission and Environmental Protection Agency and other Federal agencies

(1) The Environmental Protection Agency—

(A) may conduct field testing of the automotive fuel rating of automotive fuel, comparing the tested automotive fuel rating of fuel at retail outlets with the automotive fuel rating posted at those outlets;

(B) shall certify the results of such tests and comparisons to the Federal Trade Commission; and

(C) shall notify the Federal Trade Commission of any failure to post the automotive fuel rating.


(2) The Federal Trade Commission may enter into interagency agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency and such other agencies of the United States as the Commission determines appropriate for the purpose of assuring enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter in a manner which is consistent with—

(A) minimizing the cost of field inspection and related compliance activities; and

(B) reducing duplication of similar or related field compliance activities performed by agencies of the United States.

(c) Promulgation of rules by Federal Trade Commission; contents; requirements for compliance with rules

(1) Not later than 6 months after June 19, 1978, the Federal Trade Commission shall, by rule, prescribe and make effective—

(A) a uniform method by which a person may certify to another the automotive fuel rating of automotive fuel; and

(B) a uniform method of displaying the automotive fuel rating of automotive fuel at the point of sale to ultimate purchasers.


(2) Effective on and after the effective date of the rule prescribed under paragraph (1), any person—

(A) shall be considered to satisfy the requirements of subsection (a) or (b) of section 2822 of this title, as the case may be, only if such person complies with the requirements established pursuant to paragraph (1)(A); and

(B) shall be considered to satisfy the requirements of section 2822(c) of this title only if such person complies with the requirements established pursuant to paragraph (1)(B).


(3) The Federal Trade Commission may, by rule, prescribe procedures for determination of the automotive fuel rating of automotive fuel which varies from that prescribed in section 2821 of this title. In prescribing such rule, the Commission—

(A) shall consider—

(i) ease of administration and enforcement, and

(ii) industry practices in the distribution and marketing of automotive fuel; and


(B) may permit adjustments in such automotive fuel rating to take into account the effects of altitude, temperature, and humidity.


(4) The Federal Trade Commission may, by rule, prescribe and make effective a method of determining the automotive fuel rating of automotive fuel which consists of a blend of two or more quantities of automotive fuel of different automotive fuel ratings if the Federal Trade Commission finds that the method prescribed more accurately reflects the automotive fuel rating of such blend than the weighted-average method set forth in section 2822(f)(1) of this title. Effective on and after the effective date of such rule, any person shall be considered to satisfy the requirements of section 2822(f)(1) of this title only if such person utilizes the method prescribed in such rule (in lieu of the method set forth in section 2822(f)(1) of this title).

(d) Statutory provisions applicable for promulgation of rules

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), rules under this subchapter shall be prescribed in accordance with section 553 of title 5, except that interested persons shall be afforded an opportunity to present written and oral data, views, and arguments with respect to any proposed rule.

(2) Rules prescribed under subsection (c)(3) of this section and section 2822(d) of this title shall be prescribed on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing.

(3) Section 18 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a) shall not apply with respect to any rule prescribed under this subchapter.

(e) Acts or practices constituting violations

It shall be an unfair or deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)]) for any person to violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (e) of section 2822 of this title, or a rule prescribed under subsection (d) of section 2822 of this title. For purposes of the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] (including any remedy or penalty applicable to any violation thereof) such a violation shall be treated as a violation of a rule under such Act respecting unfair or deceptive acts or practices.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title II, §203, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 335; Pub. L. 102–486, title XV, §§1501(c)(3), 1502(b), (c), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2997, 2998.)

References in Text

The Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (e), is act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§41 et seq.) of chapter 2 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 58 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 102–486, §1502(c), struck out “shall” after “Agency” in introductory provisions, inserted “may” before “conduct” in subpar. (A), inserted “shall” before “certify” in subpar. (B), and in subpar. (C) inserted “shall” before “notify” and struck out before period at end “discovered in the course of such field testing”.

Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(3)(A), (B), substituted “automotive fuel rating” for “octane rating” and “fuel” for “gasoline” wherever appearing.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–486, §1501(c)(3), substituted “automotive fuel rating” for “octane rating” and “fuel” for “gasoline” wherever appearing, “section 2821” for “section 2821(1)” in par. (3), and “automotive fuel ratings” for “octane ratings” in par. (4).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102–586, §1502(b), struck out before end of second sentence “; except that for purposes of section 5(m)(1)(A) of such Act, the term ‘or knowledge fairly implied on the basis of objective circumstances’ shall not apply to any violation by any gasoline retailer of the requirements of section 2822(c) or (e) of this title”.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by section 1501(c)(3) of Pub. L. 102–486 effective at the end of the one-year period beginning Oct. 24, 1992, see section 1501(d)(1) of Pub. L. 102–486, set out as a note under section 2821 of this title.

Effective Date

Subsec. (b) of this section effective on first day of first calendar month beginning more than 6 months after June 19, 1978, see section 205(a) of Pub. L. 95–297, set out as a note under section 2822 of this title.

§2824. Relationship of statutory provisions to State and local laws

(a) To the extent that any provision of this subchapter applies to any act or omission, no State or any political subdivision thereof may adopt or continue in effect, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any provision of law or regulation with respect to such act or omission, unless such provision of such law or regulation is the same as the applicable provision of this subchapter.

(b) A State or political subdivision thereof may provide for any investigative or enforcement action, remedy, or penalty (including procedural actions necessary to carry out such investigative or enforcement actions, remedies, or penalties) with respect to any provision of law or regulation permitted by subsection (a) of this section.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title II, §204, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 337; Pub. L. 102–486, title XV, §1502(a), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2997.)

Amendments

1992—Pub. L. 102–486 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows: “To the extent that any provision of this subchapter applies to any act or omission, no State or any political subdivision thereof may adopt, enforce, or continue in effect any provision of any law or regulation (including any remedy or penalty applicable to any violation thereof) with respect to such act or omission, unless such provision of such law or regulation is the same as the applicable provision of this subchapter.”

SUBCHAPTER III—SUBSIDIZATION OF MOTOR FUEL MARKETING

§2841. Study by Secretary of Energy

(a) Consultation with Chairman of Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General, and other agencies deemed appropriate by Secretary

The Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General and other agencies as the Secretary deems appropriate, shall conduct a study of the extent to which producers, refiners, and other suppliers of motor fuel subsidize the sale of such motor fuel at retail or wholesale with profits obtained from other operations.

(b) Scope

Such study shall examine—

(1) the role of vertically integrated operations in facilitating subsidization of sales of motor fuel at wholesale or retail;

(2) the extent to which such subsidization is predatory and presents a threat to competition;

(3) the profitability of various segments of the petroleum industry;

(4) the impact of prohibiting such subsidization on the competitive viability of various segments of the petroleum industry, on prices of motor fuel to consumers and on the health and structure of the petroleum industry as a whole; and

(5) such other matters as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(c) Notice to interested parties and opportunity to present written and oral data, views and arguments

In conducting the study required by this section, the Secretary shall give appropriate notice and afford interested persons an opportunity to present written and oral data, views and arguments concerning such study.

(d) Report to Congress; contents and time for submission; Presidential promulgation of rules establishing interim measures; submission date and duration of interim measures; Congressional approval of interim measures

(1) The Secretary shall report the results of the study required by this section, together with such recommendations for legislative action and such statistical evidence as he deems appropriate to the Congress on or before the expiration of the eighteenth month after June 19, 1978.

(2) If the President determines that interim measures are necessary and appropriate to maintain the competitive viability of the marketing sector of the petroleum industry during Congressional consideration of the recommendations contained in the report submitted under paragraph (1), he shall prescribe, by rule, in accordance with the procedures set forth in section 6393(a) of title 42 such interim measures.

(3) No interim measure proposed by the President under this section may be submitted after January 1, 1980, and the effect of such measure if approved by the Congress under paragraph (4) may not extend beyond 18 months after such Congressional approval.

(4) Such interim measure shall not take effect unless approved by both Houses of Congress as if it were a contingency plan under section 6422 of title 42: Provided, That the 60-day period referred to in such section shall be extended to 90 days for purposes of this section.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(Pub. L. 95–297, title III, §301, June 19, 1978, 92 Stat. 337.)