Petroleum Licensing and storage

Petrol Filling Stations and Licensing

Petrol filling stations and other facilities where petrol is dispensed as fuel into the tanks of internal combustion engines are required to be licensed by the relevant Petroleum Licensing Authorities (PLA) who will ensure that the necessary safety standards are observed and maintained.

Use the quick links below for further information:


Applicable Legislation


The Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928

Under the Provisions of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928, it is an offence to keep petrol (at petrol filling stations) without a petroleum licence being in force. Petroleum licences are granted by the local petroleum licensing authority (PLA).

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are the enforcing authority in the County of Norfolk.

The PLA can attach conditions to any petroleum licence as the authority thinks appropriate, to the mode of storage, the nature and situation of the premises in which, and the nature of the goods with which, petroleum-spirit is to be stored and generally as to the safe keeping of the petroleum-spirit. The conditions take into account the way the petrol is stored, its location, and general principles of safe storage.

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The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002

Main requirements of DSEAR:

  • DSEAR is a set of regulations concerned with protection against the risks from fire, explosion and similar events arising from dangerous substances used or present in the workplace.  The regulations apply to employers and the self employed.
  • The regulations give a detailed definition of ‘dangerous substance’.  The definition includes any substance or preparation, which because of its properties or the way it is used could cause harm to people from fires and explosions.  Petroleum-spirit, LPG and LNG fall within the definition of a ‘dangerous substance’.
  • DSEAR imposes a requirement on the operators of petrol filling stations to:
  1. Carry out a risk assessment of any work activities involving ‘dangerous substances’;
  2. Provide measures to eliminate or reduce risks so far as it is reasonably practicable;
  3. Provide equipment and procedures to deal with accidents and emergencies;
  4. Provide information and training to employees; and
  5. Classify places where explosive atmospheres may occur into zones and mark the zones where necessary with a specified “EX” sign at their points of entry.

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The Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974

This Act places general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety and welfare at work of their employees.  Employers and the self employed must likewise ensure that their work activities do not put third parties at risk.

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Other Health and Safety Considerations

  • the management of health and safety at work regulations 1999
  • the reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences regulations 1995 (riddor)
  • the electricity at work regulations 1989
  • the construction (design and management) regulations 2007 (cdm)
  • the regulatory reform (fire safety) order 2005 (RRO)
  • the water resources act 1991
  • groundwater regulations 1998

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Licensing Costs

The current fees are as follows:

Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928 c.32
Licence to Keep Petroleum Spirit of a quantity

Not exceeding 2,500 litres   £42   £84   £126
Exceeding 2,500 litres but not exceeding 50,000 litres   £58   £116   £174
Exceeding 50,000 litres   £120   £240   £360


Transfer of petroleum spirit licence - £8. Fees are reviewed on an annual basis and therefore subject to change.

Petroleum Licence Application Form

  • Download - Application form for the Storage of Petroleum
  • Download - Transfer Form
  • Fill in Online - Application for a petroleum storage licence
  • Fill in Online - Application to renew a petroleum storage licence

If you require a form to be sent to you, please use the contact details at the bottom of this page.

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Mobile telephones on Petrol Filling Stations

Generally mobile telephones are not designed and certified for use in explosive atmospheres. Their use can also create a serious distraction for people carrying out dispensing activities. Radio transmissions from individual mobile telephones are generally too low to induce dangerous electric currents in nearby equipment and the risk of incendive sparking from a battery is low; however, they should not be used in the hazardous areas that exist when actually dispensing petrol. Neither should they be used in the hazardous areas around the fill and vent pipes during petrol deliveries. Rather than applying a total prohibition on the use of mobile telephones on petrol forecourts which has resulted in some anomalies and frequent abuse to staff, the following controls are recommended:

  • mobile telephones should not be used by customers or forecourt staff whilst actually dispensing petrol into fuel tanks or containers.
  • during petrol deliveries mobile telephones should not be used on those parts of the site that have been designated as hazardous areas by the site operator or the driver; and
  • mobile telephones should not be used during other petrol handling operations or during the maintenance of petrol equipment unless a specific assessment shows the risks are negligible.

There is no need to restrict the use of mobiles telephones, with respect to the safe keeping of petrol, at other times or in other areas of the forecourt. This includes in the shop, in motor vehicles parked on the forecourt (outside the hazardous area) or in other non-hazardous areas.

Radio Equipment fitted on emergency vehicles and citizen band radios.
The use of radio equipment fitted on emergency vehicles and citizen band (CB) radios may create an ignition risk. These types of transmitting equipment do have a power out-put sufficient to induce dangerous electrical currents in nearby fixtures and they should not be allowed to be used at the dispensing points or in the vicinity of the road tanker when unloading. It should be noted that the radio equipment mounted on most emergency vehicles is under automatic interrogation from the base station. 

Credit card/debit card terminals
The introduction of high security chip and PIN credit/debit cards together with the requirement to provide equivalent services for disabled drivers has created a need for portable credit/debit card terminals to be used at the disabled drivers' vehicle after it has been filled with petrol.

Not all portable credit/debit card terminals will be suitable for use in Zone 1 or Zone 2 areas. They may be used; however, on petrol forecourt by trained attendants provided suitable procedures are established and adopted that will prevent the terminals from be taken into the temporary hazardous areas that will arise during petrol dispensing. The procedure will  include the attendant ensuring that there are no petrol spillages in the area and that petrol is not being dispensed from any nozzles within 1 metre of where the terminals is to be used.

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What Rights Do I Have?

If your application for the grant or renewal of a petroleum licence is refused or if you are aggrieved at any condition attached to your petroleum licence, you can appeal to the Secretary of State at the Department of Work & Pensions at:

Health and Safety Sponsorship Division
2nd Floor The Adelphi
1-11 John Adams Street

If an inspector tells you to do something, he/she will always confirm in writing what needs to be done and give a time period for the work to be completed.

When an inspector issues an improvement notice or a prohibition notice, you will be told in writing about your right of appeal to an industrial tribunal and be given an appeal form.

You will also be given a leaflet explaining:

  • how to appeal
  • where and within what time period an appeal may be brought;
  • that a appeal may be brought on any grounds; and
  • that any action required by an improvement notice is suspended while the appeal is pending.

If you are not satisfied with the way you have been treated, you can take the matter up with the inspectors manager, whose name should be on all letters from the Authority.  As with any health and safety inspector, all complaints about Petroleum Inspectors will be investigated and the outcome of the investigation made known to you.

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Domestic Storage of Petroleum

Contact Details

The petroleum license authority contact address is:

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

If you are unsure about your responsibilities, have a query or need any advice about fire safety, please contact us:
Any general enquiries should be directed to: 01603 810351 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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