Trading Standards: Petrol

Petrol pump

Trading Standards: Petrol

Trading Standards is the Petroleum Enforcement Authority in Worcestershire.

Notification and applications

You can apply for certification at Historical Information Requests

If you store between 30 & 275 litres of Petrol you are required to Notify your Petroleum Enforcing Authority in writing with the name of the occupier, address of the premises and confirmation that the petrol is stored in accordance with regulations.

Further Information

Petrol is a highly flammable liquid which 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 other depressions.

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).

Petrol is a dangerous substance. The storage and use of petrol in workplaces is covered by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). which also requires employers to control the risks to safety from fire and explosions.

Dispensing petrol into a vehicle is covered by other legislation and in addition requires certification from Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

Who needs a licence or certificate?

A licence/certificate will let you keep an approved quantity of petroleum. “Petroleum” includes any product of crude petroleum which has a flashpoint below 21°C including petrol, benzene, pentane and any mixture which contains these products.

If you store more than 275 litres of petroleum spirit and you are either of the following, you will need a licence /certificate:

  • Retail Petrol Filling Stations
  • Non Retail Petrol Filling Stations (including commercial sites, golf courses, and farms if they have storage tanks for petrol and tanks where the petrol is dispensed, either mechanically or electrically, into the fuel tank for an internal combustion engine or any approved container including demountable fuel tank. Please note that this is a much wider definition than just a motor vehicle).

Non-workplace, or domestic, storage of petrol may also need a licence. (Please see section Domestic / Non-workplace below)

Please note the old licencing regime has now changed and most sites will become 'Certificated' but in certain circumstances a 'Licence' may be granted for up to 3 years at Non-Workplace premises. If you store between 30 and 275 litres there is a requirement to notify the Local Authority in writing. For more information on this please see Domestic and Non-Workplace Storage (below) or contact us.

How to Apply?

Worcestershire Trading Standards Service is the Petroleum Enforcing Authority (PEA) for Worcestershire and is responsible for ensuring that those who keep and dispense petrol do not cause unnecessary risk to the public or environment.

The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 came into force on the 1st October 2014 and replaces the old petrol licencing regime with a new Petroleum Storage Certificate (PSC). Once a petroleum licence expires it will be deemed to be a PSC under the new regulations.

Application forms will be sent out prior to the expiry of a current licence. New certificates will be issued as existing licences expire over the next three years. Certificates do not have an expiry date and remain in force until either a 'prescribed material change' takes place or the site ceases to operate for more than 12 months. 

Petroleum Application Form (Word)
Petroleum Licence Transfer (Word)

What will it cost?

The ‘Keeper’ of the fuel must pay an annual fee which is calculated according to the maximum literage of petrol that can be stored at the site. The Keeper can choose to pay for up to ten years in advance.

Online payments

The links in the table below will take you directly to the online system for payment.

Quantity Fee
Petrol Certificate not exceeding 2,500 litres £46
Petrol Certificate exceeding 2,500 but not exceeding 50,000 litres £62
Petrol Certificate exceeding 50,000 litres £131

If you are paying by cheque:

Cheques: need to be made payable to WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

BACS: Barclays Bank A/C 53583147 S/C 20-98-87 (please provide date and reference)

Please note: Paying for more than one year now will reduce the administrative burden on your business and enable you to purchase at the current year's fee rate. However the Regulations are subject to review and the inclusion of fees could be changed.          

Return application and fee to the address below:

Worcestershire Trading Standards Services,
Wyre Forest House, 
Finepoint Way, 
DY11 7WF

Fees are set by the Health and Safety Fees Regulations and are subject to review.

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.

  • a person may keep up to 30 litres of petrol in suitable portable containers or in a single demountable fuel tank in a suitable storage place (see Schedule 2 of the PCA for further details).
  • a person keeping over 30 litres and less than 275 litres must notify the authority in writing with the name of the occupier, address of the premises and confirmation that the petrol is stored in accordance with regulations.
  • a person keeping in excess of 275 litres will require a licence. Licences may be issued for up to three years and subsequently renewed. They are issued to the licensee personally and are not transferable.

It is important to consider the safety requirements of storing fuel:

  • petrol is highly flammable, explosive and toxic and there are laws that you need to follow if you are storing it.
  • apart from what is in your vehicle fuel tank, you can only transport petrol in securely closed containers designed for the purpose and marked 'Petroleum' and 'Highly Flammable'. Make sure they are secured in the back of your vehicle when being transported.
  • filling your tank from a container should only be carried out in the open air.
  • store any containers in a garage or shed away from any other buildings. Do not keep it in the house. Make sure the area is well ventilated and away from naked flames or live electrical equipment.
  • check containers regularly for leaks. If you smell petrol fumes, ventilate the area and make sure nobody smokes or turns electrical switches on or off. The slightest spark could cause an explosion.

If you are unsure of whether or not you need a licence please contact us for advice.

Portable Containers

The Regulations only allow for the filling of ‘suitable containers’. The definition of what constitutes a suitable container is contained in Schedule 3 of the new Regulations and now includes:

  • plastic containers up to 10 litres (previously restricted this to 5 litres)
  • metal containers up to 20 litres (previously restricted this to 10 litres)

There are currently no legal restrictions regarding the number of containers that can be filled so this is not included in the new Regulations. It does however form part of the site risk assessment and current guidance can be found in Section 8 of the PELG Guidance Petrol filling stations guidance on managing the risks of fire and explosion (The Red Guide) which is published on the Energy Institute website.

Legislation & Guidance

For more information and Frequently Asked Questions on the new Regulations please refer to the HSE website.

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 local authority health and safety inspectors:

Please Note:  If you already have a petroleum licence you will automatically be sent a renewal form at the appropriate time. You should allow 10 working days for applications to be processed.

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