Italy places a minimum stockholding obligation on industry.

Legislation passed in 1998 established the National Reserve Stock Agency. To date, this agency has not played a role in the holding or managing of emergency reserves. All stocks in Italy are held by industry.

Italian legislation requires that total compulsory stocks for the country as a whole must not be less than 90 days of internal consumption during the preceding calendar year. This applies to the three categories covered by EU obligations. The holdings requirements are then increased by the difference needed to meet the country's obligations as an IEA member - i.e. to hold total oil stocks of at least 90 days of net imports. The Ministry of Economic Development calculates Italy's overall minimum stockholding needs and determines how this is allocated across all industry operators.

There are approximately 100 companies with stockholding obligations in Italy. Refiners processing for third parties abroad or for export must hold stocks equivalent to 23 days supply of the products obtained from such processing arrangements. This amount is deducted from the national obligation calculated by the ministry. The balance is then allocated to all operators that delivered products (from EU Categories I, II and III) into domestic consumption in the preceding calendar year.

In addition, secondary storage licence holders (small products depots authorised by the local prefecture) are required to hold stocks equivalent to 10% of gross tank capacity. As these depots are distributed widely over the country, such a compulsory stock requirement ensures broad product availability in an emergency.

Italy allows companies with individual stockholding commitments to transfer their commitments to another company through leasing or storage rental agreements. Italy stipulates that all compulsory stocks must be held as products. However, companies may hold crude to meet up to 40% of light/middle distillate stocks obligations and up to 50% of fuel oil stock obligations.

Compulsory stocks are not held separately from normal working or operational stocks. Companies are allowed to meet some or all of their stockholding obligations in the form of tickets, either domestically or in other EU member countries. Italy has bilateral agreements with Germany, Spain and Slovenia. It is also in the process of formalising an agreement with the Netherlands.

More information on oil and gas emergency policy

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