UPEI’s members are European importers and wholesale/retail distributors of refined petroleum products and their alternatives, all operating independently of major fuel suppliers. The activities conducted by independent fuel suppliers are highly diversified and cover the entire downstream fuel supply chain: importing, wholesaling, distribution, logistics, retailing, and contracting.

The majority of the companies are small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), however, they range from companies with a single service station to companies that are independent world-class players in their own right. Due to the different market structure and historical backgrounds of the different countries in the European Union, the importance of independents varies from country to country.

However, within the EU the independent fuel supply sector covers more than one third of supply, although in certain countries the percentage can be as high as 45%. Independent suppliers play a vital role in guaranteeing fair fuel supply at a local, regional and national level, as their independence enables them to respond rapidly to changes in terms of market structure, products and services responding to evolving consumer demands. Their presence on the market brings competition, making energy more affordable for Europe’s consumers.