Health and Safety

Licensing of Petroleum Sites


Petrol is highly flammable, explosive and toxic and there are laws that you need to follow if you are storing it.

Petroleum means any product of crude petroleum that has a flashpoint below 21°C. This includes petrol, benzene, pentane and any mixture that contains these products and has a flashpoint below 21°C. This does not include white spirit, paraffin, diesel oil or fuel oils.

Petroleum Enforcing Authority (PEA)

The council is the Petroleum Enforcing Authority (PEA) for the storage of petroleum spirit in Pembrokeshire. We need to make sure those keeping and dispensing petrol do so in a safe manner that is unlikely to cause risk to the public or environment

The PEA is responsible for:

  • Issuing a Petroleum Storage Certificate for workplaces that store and dispense petrol (petrol filling stations).  This relates to new and existing sites.
  • Processing notifications with respect to prescribed material changes and issuing updated storage certificates detailing the new arrangements.
  • Processing notifications regarding a change in keeper.
  • Processing notifications and issuing licences to non-workplace premises that store petrol i.e. domestic premises and clubs.

Petroleum Storage Certificate For Dispensing Premises

You will need a petroleum storage certificate for your workplace when you have petrol dispensing equipment similar to a retail petrol filling station.  This means you will need a storage certificate if you have:
  •  a static tank (either an underground or fixed above ground petrol storage tank);
  • a containment system as part of your petrol dispensing equipment; and
  • a pump where you dispense petrol directly into the tank of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine

Once issued the certificate remains in place until such time as the site ceases to dispense petroleum spirit for a period of more than 12 months, or if the site undergoes a material change.

You do not need to apply for a storage certificate unless you become the owner of a new site or a site that has been out of operation for over twelve months. In these circumstances you should contact us at least 28 days before it is required and you can do this up to six months in advance. You are advised to contact the Petroleum Officer and speak to us as early as possible for further guidance.

For new applications you will need to provide the following:

  • a drawing (scale 1:100) of the  layout of the premises;
  • a drawing (scale 1:100) of the containment system for petrol at the dispensing premises including storage tanks and pipework;
  • a drawing (scale 1:100) of the drainage system for petrol at the dispensing premises;

Current annual fees for petroleum storage certification

The fee band will be decided on the maximum working capacity of the tanks that contain petrol at the time the fee is due.These fees are set by the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012. These regulations are reviewed. Site operators should be aware that fees may be subject to change

The fee paid may be for any period (in whole years) up to 10 years.  

  • Band A - not exceeding 2,500 Litres - £48 for each year of certificate
  • Band B - exceeding 2,500 litres but not exceeding 50,000 litres - £65 for each year of certificate
  • Band C - exceeding 50,000 litres - £137

 The payment can be made by cheque to Pembrokeshire County Council, over the phone by card (see contact details below) or an invoice will be sent for the number of years requested from the date the initial certificate is issued.

When the initial fee has expired the PEA will contact you to arrange further payments.

Prescribed Material Changes

If you intend to carry out any prescribed material changes to the storage arrangements at your premises, you must notify this office in writing at least 28 days before any work commences.

Where prescribed material changes are made to the site the existing certificate would be replaced with an updated storage certificate detailing the new arrangements therefore up to date drawings of the premises layout, containment system and drainage system must be provided with the notification.

The lists of prescribed material changes are listed in Schedule 1 of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 as:

  • The cessation of use of one or more of the petrol storage tanks.
  • The removal or permanent decommissioning of one or more of the petrol storage tanks.
  • The installation of any tank, pipeline or vapour pipeline associated with the storage and dispensing of petrol.
  • The installation of any petrol pump, any other automotive pump, or dispenser in a new location.

Change of Petroleum keeper

If the premises changes hands or is under new ownership there is no requirement to transfer the certificate as the certificate relates to the storage arrangements at the premises only. 

Both the outgoing and incoming operator must notify the PEA when a change of operator occurs. The notifications must be made in writing at least 28 days before the changes take place.

The notification should include:

  • The person's name and address
  • The address of the dispensing premises
  • The date on which the relevant change will take place

A change of keeper will not incur an additional fee.

Domestic and non- workplace storage, storing up to 30 litres of petrol

30 litres of petrol can be stored at home or at non-workplace premises (including motor vehicles, boats and aircraft) without informing the PEA provided that common storage requirements are met (see below) and the storage place is fire separated from the rest of the building and any exit routes.

The petrol can be stored in:

  • suitable portable metal (20ltrs) or plastic containers (10ltrs)
  • one demountable fuel tank (30 litres)
  • A combination of the above as long as no more than 30 litres is kept

Domestic and non- workplace storage, storing over 30 litres but less than 275 litres

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.

This notification must be made annually in January.

The common storage requirements must be met:

  • Suitable portable containers/demountable fuel tanks
  • Petrol should  not be stored in living accommodation;
  • Petrol must  not be dispensed (i.e. not pumped either manually or electrically from a storage tank) at the storage place;
  • If the storage place is not in the open air then a direct exit to the open air and ventilation to this exit is required;
  • All reasonable precautions must be taken in the  storage place to prevent any sources of ignition or heat that would be able to ignite the petrol or its vapour;
  • Petrol is not used in the storage place other than: In the fuel tank of any internal combustion engine Or, in quantities (not exceeding 150 millilitres), for cleaning or as a solvent for repair purposes

Storing more than 275 litres of petrol

Where more than 275 litres of petrol are stored at non workplace premises then a licence is required. A licence may only authorise the keeping of petrol for private use, which does not include sale.  The licence will only be granted if the PEA is satisfied that the keeping of petrol in accordance with the licence and any proposed conditions would not create an unacceptable risk to the health or safety of any person.

Further information

The Red Guide is directed at those with a responsibility for the safe operation of facilities where petrol is stored and dispensed into vehicle fuel tanks, to enable them to comply with the relevant health & safety legislation; in particular their statutory duties under the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) -  Guidance on the risk of managing fire & explosion - The Red Guide (opens in a new tab)

The HSE website, which provides up to date information on The Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 (opens in a new tab)

The HSE website (opens in a new tab) which provides up to date advice on the application of DSEAR, explosive atmospheres, the requirement for hazardous zone plans and the precautions you should take when working in these zones.

More detailed information is contained in the book, the APEA/IP Code of practice for the design, construction and operation of petrol filling stations (opens in a new tab).

Contact Details

For further information contact us:

Health and Safety Team, 
Public Protection Division, 
Pembrokeshire County Council, 
County Hall, 
SA61 1TP

Tel: 01437 775179 /5631
E-mail: health&

ID: 2622, revised 16/05/2024