The council’s Trading Standards section is the licensing authority for the storage of petroleum spirit in Bath & North East Somerset. We need to licence petroleum spirit 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.

What is petroleum?

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 doesn't include white spirit, paraffin, diesel oil or fuel oils.

Why do I need a licence?

A licence will allow you to keep an approved quantity of petroleum. It is an offence to keep any more than the approved amount. It is also an offence to fail to comply with any of the licence conditions or keep licensable quantities of petroleum spirit without a licence.

If you are storing petroleum for commercial or retail purposes and do not have a licence, you may be committing a criminal offence so you should contact us immediately.

What about domestic storage of petroleum?

You can legally store (without a licence) up to 20 litres of petrol in two 10 litre metal containers, or 10 litres in two 5 litre plastic containers. All containers must be designed for the purpose and they must be marked 'PETROLEUM SPIRIT' and 'HIGHLY FLAMMABLE'.

Store any containers in a garage or shed away from any other buildings. Don't keep it in the house. Make sure the area is well ventilated and away from any naked flame 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.

How can I legally transport petroleum?

For domestic use - apart from what's in the fuel tank, you can only transport petrol in securely closed containers designed for the purpose and marked 'PETROLEUM SPIRIT' and 'HIGHLY FLAMMABLE'. Make sure they are secured in the boot when being transported.


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