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Consultation opens on plans to simplify petrol legislation

13 December 2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an eight-week consultation on plans to simplify and modernise legislation on the storage of petroleum. 

HSE is inviting comments on proposals to consolidate and refine eight pieces of legislation that apply to the storage of petrol at workplaces that dispense petrol, mainly petrol stations, and non-workplace premises such as private homes. 

Kären Clayton, Director of HSE’s Long Latency Health Risks Division, said:

 “The proposal is to revoke all existing legislation and consolidate the provisions to be maintained into one single set of new regulations. This will modernise and simplify the current legislative arrangements whilst maintaining existing standards of safety.”

The development of the new regulations has been carried out in an open and collaborative way, drawing on a wide range of views from industry, regulators, other government departments and hobbyists, eg boating, vintage cars etc.

The key change for petrol filling stations is the proposal to move away from licensing and to introduce a petroleum storage certificate, which will remain valid unless there is a significant change or the site is closed. This proposal has support from both industry and regulators.

The regulations will also provide clarification on the amounts that can be stored at home and the types of containers that can be used.

The consultation is open until 7 February 2014. The HSE Board will make recommendations to ministers after consideration of the consultation responses.

Full details are contained within the consultation document available on the HSE website –


Notes to editors


  1. In the Löfstedt report, it was recommended that: “HSE undertakes a programme of sector-specific consolidations to be completed by April 2015. The full report is available via:
  2. The Government response to Professor Löfstedt’s report is also available via
  3. The introduction of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) disapplied petroleum legislation from all workplaces not involved in petrol dispensing. Under DSEAR “dispensing” means manual or electrical pumping of petroleum-spirit from a storage tank into the fuel tank for an internal combustion engine, whether for the purposes of sale or not.”  Dispensing is defined so as to exclude decanting of petrol from a portable container, e.g. a jerry can.  The petroleum legislation now applies, in the main, to petrol filling stations (retail and non-retail), where DSEAR also applies, and domestic storage.
  4. Petrol filling stations generally fall into two broad categories: i) Retail petrol filling stations that sell to the public; and ii) Non-retail petrol filling stations that store and dispense petrol for use in the business’s vehicles, e.g. car hire fleets, public utilities, hospitals, farms, etc.
  5. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.



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