Petroleum storage, certificates, licensing and decommissioning

Businesses, organisations and individuals must have a Petroleum Storage Certificate (PSC) if they store and supply petrol to vehicles.

The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 came into force on 1 October 2014 and apply to petrol filling stations, domestic storage and non-workplace storage of petrol.

As the Petroleum Enforcing Authority (PEA), Trading Standards are responsible for ensuring that those who keep and dispense petrol do not cause risk to the public or the environment and are also compliant with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002.

Petrol storage

Businesses, organisations and individuals must have a Petroleum Storage Certificate (PSC) if they store and supply petrol to vehicles with an internal combustion engine.

Certificates are issued for the premises were the petrol is stored and dispensed, with no reference to the person or company (previously known as licensees).

Certificates do not have an expiry date and remain in force until either a material (major) change takes place or the site ceases to operate for more than 12 months.

The keeper of the petrol must pay an annual fee, which is calculated on the maximum quantity of petrol stored on site. The keeper can choose to pay up to 10 years in advance. No refunds are available if you leave the site during this period (the certificate remains in force for the new keeper) or the business ceases to trade.

You must contact us on 01473 264859 or petroleum@suffolk.gov.uk if you are:

  • thinking of storing petrol for the first time
  • store petrol, but do not currently have a PSC
  • are intending to open a new or re-open a redundant petrol filling station (PFS), as there are strict requirements on the design and construction of PFS

Domestic and non-workplace storage

The regulations have provision for licensing domestic and non-workplace petrol storage where it is kept for private use only.

QuantitiesUp to 30 litresBetween 30 and 275 litresOver 275 litres

Licence or notification

No licence and

No requirement to notify us.

 

No licence but must notify us in writing* with the name of the occupier, address of the premises

Licence fee payable dependant on storage quantities (see fees tab)

Storage arrangements

  • suitable portable containers**
  • a single demountable fuel tank**
  •  in suitable storage containers or tanks**
  • conditions can be attached to storage

Common requirements

  • must not to be stored in living accommodation
  • must not be dispensed at the storage place using manual or electrical pumping of petrol from a storage tank
  • if the storage place is not in the open air, it has a direct exit to the open air and is ventilated to it
  • all reasonable precautions are taken in the storage place to prevent any sources of ignition or heat that would be liable to ignite petrol or its vapour

Not to be used in the storage place other than;

  • in the fuel tank of any internal combustion engine or
  • in quantities (not exceeding 150 millilitres at any one time), for cleaning or as a solvent for repair purposes

*Please contact us on Trading Standards, Landmark House, Egerton Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 5PF or petroleum@suffolk.gov.uk.

**Portable petrol storage containers

Purchasing Petrol in Containers

There are no regulations that specify the number containers that can be filled and each Petrol Filling Station (PFS) will have their own restrictions on the sale of petrol in containers

The number of containers that can be filled is dependent on several factors, but a limit of two containers is normally accepted as providing a reasonable level of safety on the forecourt and ensures compliance with the non-workplace storage limits

Containers can have a maximum capacity of:

  • Plastic containers - 10 litres
  • Metal containers - 20 litres

Further details on containers can be found on the HSE website

Where circumstances exist that require the filling of more than two containers, both the purchaser and seller must enter into an agreement to ensure that effective control measures are in place, followed and understood by the person or persons filling the containers. This agreement should also include the number of persons required to safely fill the containers and a time of day when the containers are to be filled

Further details on assessing the risks and control measures can be achieved can be found in guidance available from the Energy Institute

Fees

Fees are set nationally and subject to review, but are currently (November 2018):

BandAmountAnnual fee

A

Up to 2,500 litres

£44

B

2,500 to 50,000 litres

£60

C

More than 50,000 litres

£125

Additional guidance and information relating to storing petrol:

Decommissioning

If you stop using storage tanks for petroleum storage, you must make them safe.

If this is a temporary arrangement, then water can be used for a maximum of 12 months, however, regular inspection must be undertaken to ensure no leakage occurs.

If this is a permanent arrangement, there are several ways to make the tanks safe, including filling with sand/cement slurry, foamed concrete or complete removal – the preferred method.

Any work to decommission tanks whether permanent or temporary must be undertaken by a “competent person”. Details of suitable businesses that can undertake this work can be found on the Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration website, by selecting the Tank Decommissioning or Tank Removal options from the drop down list.

If you use a company other than from this list you will need to ensure they are competent and have the experience to do the work, failure to do could lead to a potentially dangerous situation occurring.

Further information can be obtained by contacting us by email at petroleum@suffolk.gov.uk or by post to:

Trading Standards
Landmark House
Egerton Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 5PF

Historical information

We keep records of sites which currently hold a Petroleum Storage Certificate or have historically held a petroleum licence. A request for information can be made using this form (PDF, 107KB).

Once you complete the form, send it by email to petroleum@suffolk.gov.uk or by post to:

Trading Standards
Landmark House
Egerton Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP1 5PF

Please ensure any request contains the site address and any known trading names used.

If the site has a current Petroleum Storage Certificate or Petroleum Licence, we also require a signed authorisation from the Keeper of the Petroleum or owner of the site, that they are happy for us to release the information.

Requests will normally be undertaken within 10 days of the request, with an invoice for payment sent during this time. Please note, as most historical records are held off-site this information is not immediately available.

The following fees are chargeable for this service:

  1. £45 (+VAT) minimum charge for initial search that reveals no information
  2. £90 (+VAT) where historical petroleum information is available, the charge of £90 (+VAT) include the first two hours officer time; if additional or subsequent time is required this is charged at an additional cost of £45 (+VAT) per hour
  3. where drawings/plans are available, copies can usually be provided at cost, using external printers, in addition to the £90 + VAT fee above. Where electronic copies can be provided these will be free of charge

Inspections

To ensure that petroleum is being stored or will be stored safely and does not present a risk to the public or the environment, an inspection may be deemed necessary prior to or after a licence or certificate has been issued.

Where we wish to undertake a comprehensive inspection, we will normally make an appointment to visit you. However, there may be circumstances when we undertake a “spot check” with prior arrangement.