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Current Oil Storage Regulations

Current Oil Storage Regulations

Non-compliance with oil storage regulations means prosecution and a hefty fine.

For businesses, organisations and individuals storing oil on their premises, whether for use as fleet fuel or to heat and run premises, compliance with government regulations is vital to ensuring not only safety to people and the environment but also that they’re not fined or prosecuted.


When oil leaks or spills occur, they are extremely hazardous to the surrounding environment, posing immediate risks to people in the area as well as wildlife and vegetation. That’s why oil tanks must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they’re in top condition and in compliance with regulations at all times.


Under the Environment Agency’s oil storage regulations of 2001 (England), storage containers with a capacity of 200 litres or more (at an institute, a commercial or an industrial site) or capacity of 3500 litres or more (at a domestic dwelling), must be stored in a bunded tank, bowser or other container, such as a drum or Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), with a secondary containment of no less than 110% of the maximum contents. Bear in mind, it is the capacity of the tank, not the quantity of the oil that applies.

Risk Assessment

The following risk assessment must be carried out and, if the tank:

Then, your oil tank needs secondary containment bunded tank or bund built around the tank.


Exceptions to these regulations include:


The regulations apply to every type of oil including vegetable oils, biofuels, diesel and petrol, except waste oil within the meaning of regulation 1(3) of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994.

Oil storage tanks themselves must meet prevailing British Standards and Oil Storage Regulations, which cover steel and polyethylene tanks. The regulations extend to where tanks are placed on premises; maintenance of tanks; security; and issues relating to the delivery of oil, such as drip trays and coupling points.

Mobile Bowsers

The regulations state that mobile bowsers must be designed so that in the case of an accident, such as a collision, the oil will not leak from them. If these containers are being transported on roads, they may come under additional regulations, including the Carriage of Dangerous Goods.

It’s a criminal offence not to comply with the oil storage regulations, with possible prosecution and fines of up to £5,000. It’s therefore in people’s best interests to carefully monitor their oil storage facilities at all times and to carry out regular inspections and work to ensure they’re fully compliant.

Read the relevant regulations in full:

UK Bunded Fuel tanks are ISO 9001:2015 compliant and this is a guarantee that we will meet your requirements whilst complying with all relevant regulations.

If you require more information on the latest oil storage regulations give our experts a call on 01200 400980.