To run a business where petrol is stored for dispensing directly into the fuel tank
of an internal combustion engine - or where large amounts of petrol are stored for
private use - you need a licence from your local petroleum licensing authority.
Applications should be made to Falkirk Council.
- Fees will be payable for a licence
- Conditions may be attached to a licence
The Petroleum (Consolidation)
Act 1928 (as amended by DSEAR) requires that anyone operating a petrol filling
station should have a licence issued by their local Petroleum Licensing Authority.
The licence is renewed at regular intervals, currently annually. The requirement
applies both to retail and non-retail filling stations - those that dispense petrol
to the general public and those which only dispense petrol into their own vehicles.
Petrol filling stations are defined as sites that dispense petrol into vehicles,
boats or aircraft by electrical or mechanical means.
The licences have conditions relating to safe storage, dispensing, maintenance,
record-keeping etc. The requirements of DSEAR also apply.
Prior to the introduction of DSEAR, anyone storing significant amounts of petrol
required a licence. However the requirement now applies only to operators of petrol
filling stations and certain non-workplace situations where significant amounts
of petrol are stored for private use.
Application evaluation process
Any application received by Falkirk Council will be processed as quickly as possible
and, in any event, within a period of 2 weeks. This period will run from the time
that all of the required information has been submitted.
The cost for a licence to keep petroleum spirit ranges from £42 to £120, depending
on the quantity to be stored.
These fees are prescribed and are exempt from VAT.
||not exceeding 2,500 litres
||exceeding 2,500 but not exceeding 50,000 litres
||over 50,000 litres
|Licence to keep petroleum spirit of a quantity
Will tacit consent apply?
No. It is in the public interest that Falkirk Council must process your application
before it can be granted.
If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks, please contact us.
How to apply
To apply or renew a licence for the storage of petroleum, you can complete the form
below and send it to Falkirk Council by email or post:
Failed application and licence holder redress
Please contact us in the first instance.
If an application is refused, the applicant may appeal to the Secretary of State.
If you have a complaint, please contact the trader first, preferably in writing.
If you do this by letter, make sure you get proof of delivery.
If you've done this and feel your complaint still hasn't been resolved, contact
Citizens Advice Bureau.
But if you do not live in the UK, you'll need to contact the
UK European Consumer Centre.
For example; complaints about noise, pollution, etc should be directed to the Environmental
Storage of petroleum
Petrol is a highly flammable liquid and gives off flammable vapour even at very
low temperatures. When this vapour is mixed with air in proportions between 1% and
8% a risk of fire or explosion exists. Petrol vapour is heavier than air and does
not disperse easily in still conditions. It tends to sink to the lowest possible
level of its surroundings and may accumulate in tanks, cavities, drains, pits or
Flammable atmospheres may also exist where clothing or other absorbent material
or substances are contaminated with petrol. Petrol vapour can have acute or chronic
effects if inhaled and therefore should be considered in the assessment required
under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH).
The petroleum licensing authority is Falkirk Council (Trading Standards) who are
responsible for ensuring safety at sites where petrol is delivered, stored and dispensed.
The keeping of petrol must be in accordance with conditions attached to a licence
issued under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928. When an Inspector appointed
by the licensing authority visits a petrol filling station the aim is to ensure
the observance, maintenance and, where necessary, the improvement of safety standards.
Other safety-related legislation is enforced by district councils or the HSE, dependent
on the main activity at the premises concerned.
At the time of writing there are proposals being considered for changes to petrol
legislation. These may affect licensing and health and safety enforcement responsibilities.
Contact your enforcing authority for the current position.
Petroleum licensing - petrol filling stations
Safety aspects of petroleum delivery, storage and dispensing are the responsibility
of the licensing authority. The contact details are shown. Officers work to, and
are able to give advice on, nationally produced guidance such as:
- HS(G) 146 - Dispensing petrol. Assessing and controlling the risk of fire and explosion
at sites where petrol is stored and dispensed as a fuel
Other health and safety considerations
In addition to the general duties established under the Health and Safety at Work
etc. Act 1974 (s.2, 3, 4, 7 and 8) the following legislation may also be of relevance
in premises visited by Falkirk Council health and safety inspectors.
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. (Risk assessment, appointment
of competent persons etc).
- COSHH 1999 (assessment and control of risks arising from substances hazardous to
- Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)(iv)
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989(v) Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
Petrol and COSHH 1999
Aspiration is the entry of liquid into the lungs following swallowing and subsequent
vomiting. Petrol is classified as 'Harmful by ingestion' owing to this aspiration
hazard i.e. the risk of chemical pneumonitis, and not because of its acute toxicity
i.e. poisoning, properties. Petrol is also classified as a skin irritant, due to
its potential to cause dermatitis. The presence of up to 5% benzene means that petrol
is classified as carcinogenic.
Under COSHH 1999 a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is required for all jobs
carried out involving petrol. This may involve emergency procedures (spillages or
accidental ingestion), protective clothing to prevent skin contact and precautions
to control exposure by inhalation.
Petrol - general safety
Where petrol might be used (eg mobile equipment, generators) or workers exposed
to other petrol fire/explosion risks (eg garage workshops) an assessment needs to
be carried out on the risks involved to ensure that adequate control measures are
taken. Leaflets giving advice on petrol safety are available, covering safe storage,
carriage and use.
When draining petrol tanks, appropriate advice includes:
- choose a level, well-ventilated area, preferably out of doors
- never drain petrol over a pit
- keep all sources of ignition well away
- use a proper fuel retriever or syphon
- if draining into a container, use a funnel
- do not attempt hot work on petrol tanks
Checklist - petrol and petrol filling stations
- Have you carried out a COSHH assessment regarding exposure to petrol?
- As a premises storing/dispensing petrol as a fuel do you comply with the licence
issued by your petroleum licensing authority?
- For other premises where petrol is used or handled, have you carried out a risk
assessment for the activities concerned?
- Have you implemented appropriate measures to control the fire/explosion risks identified
in your risk assessment?
- Have you informed or instructed employees of the health and safety risks associated
with petrol and appropriate precautions that should be taken?
Requirements for the unloading of petroleum spirit at petrol filling stations and
other licenced premises
The licensee must ensure that all petrol storage tanks, dipsticks, gauges, offset
fills and vapour recovery pipes are clearly labelled.
Before delivery of petroleum spirit begins:
- a competent person (other than the tanker driver) must be nominated by the Licensee
to be in charge of the storage tanks
A competent person means a person with enough practical and theoretical knowledge
and actual experience to carry out the task safely and effectively.
This person must not allow delivery to begin until:
- the tank has been checked to ensure delivery can be accepted without overflow
- the vapour balance hose (if applicable) and then the delivery hose have been correctly
- any other dipping opening in that tank has been securely closed
- the tank has been isolated from other storage tanks by the closure of suitable valves
- part A of the delivery certificate has been filled in by the competent person in
the presence of the tanker driver. This must be done only after compliance with
The driver of the road tanker should then complete Part B of the certificate.
The driver should not begin delivery into the storage tank until:
- he/she has correctly connected the vapour balance hose and the delivery hose to
the appropriate tank and tanker faucets
- the competent person is keeping watch in close proximity to the tanker
During the delivery:
- the competent person must stay in the vicinity of the tanker/tanks and keep a constant
watch to prevent a hazardous situation arising
- the driver must keep a constant watch on the hoses and tanker to ensure, as far
as possible, that no petrol escapes
- the competent person must also keep a constant watch on the hoses and tanker to
ensure, as far as possible, that no petrol escapes
After the delivery:
- the competent person must give the top copy of the delivery certificate to the tanker
driver who must then give it to the petrol supplier who must * keep it for not less
than 12 months after the delivery
- the second copy of the certificate must be retained by the Licensee on the site
for not less than 12 months after the delivery
This is an abbreviated form of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road Regulations
1996 Schedule 12.
Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to prosecution and a fine
of up to £5,000.