Petroleum Licencing

Petroleum is defined as being one of three classes for the purposes of legislation and regulation:

  • Class I, typically Petrol – Leaded and Unleaded (including High Blend Ethanol Fuels)
  • Class II, typically Kerosene / Paraffin
  • Class III, typically Diesel / DERV / Central Heating Oil

The storage of Petroleum Class I (i.e. leaded, unleaded or ethanol blend motor fuel), irrespective of the volume, must be carried out in a controlled manner in accordance with the Dangerous Substances Act 1972 and Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979.

Section 21 of the Dangerous Substances Act 1972 sets out the quantity of petroleum Class I which can be stored without a licence to do so:

Section 21 extract from DSA 1972

21.—(1) No person shall have petroleum-spirit in his possession or under his control except in a store licensed by the proper local or harbour authority (or, if the store is owned by such authority, licensed by the Minister) for that purpose.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to—

( a ) a quantity not exceeding three gallons kept in suitable leak-proof containers, securely stopped and containing not more than one gallon each, or

( b ) a quantity not exceeding sixty gallons kept in accordance with regulations of the Minister, for use in engines to which the regulations relate, or

( c ) petroleum-spirit in the fuel tank of an engine for use therein, or

( d ) a carrier or other person having petroleum-spirit for the purpose of conveyance in conformity with this Act or in the exercise of functions conferred on him by or under this Act.

The following Regulations are in force under the Dangerous Substances Act 1972:

Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores)Regulations, 1979 to 2006. These typically apply to petrol stations that dispense petrol through retail transactions on a forecourt and commercial sites that dispense petrol for use by employees within the confines of the site.

Dangerous Substances (Bulk Petroleum Stores)Regulations, 1979. These typically apply to large and medium size bulk storage facilities where large quantities of Petroleum Class I are stored, sometimes in conjunction with Petroleum Class II and/or III, for subsequent delivery to retail petrol stations.

Licencing Authority

The licensing authority for County Wicklow is Wicklow County Council and all applications for a licence to store petroleum Class I must be made in accordance with the regulations S.I. 311: 1979 which are available at the following link: Irish Statute Book

Alterations to existing petroleum storage sites

In accordance with Section 11 of the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979 to 2006 no alteration works can be carried out to a petroleum storage facility without written application to and subsequent written consent from the licensing authority.

Discontinuation of existing petroleum sites

In accordance with Section 10 of the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations 1979 to 2006 a licensee must give 21 days notice in writing to the licensing authority of their intention to discontinue the use of an underground storage tank and all practicable steps must be taken to render the tank immune from the risk of fire or explosion including any steps required in writing by the licensing authority.

Application for a licence to store petroleum

An application for a licence to store petroleum must, at a minimum, include the following:

  • A completed application form as set out under Schedule 2 of the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979.
  • An electrical test certificate under the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979, completed by a person(s) competent in assessing electrical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres.
  • A current Vapour Recovery (VR) certificate under the Air Pollution Act, 1987 (Petroleum Vapour Emissions) Regulations 1997.
  • Plans, maps, technical specifications and details as listed under Article 12 of the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979.
  • The appropriate fee under the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979

The maximum period of a licence is 3 years but may be shorter at the discretion of the licensing authority. An application for the renewal of a licence must be made at least 3 months before the date on which the current licence expires.

Petroleum Licencing Fees

Petroleum Licence Fees
Capacity Fee(per annum or part thereof, to a maximum of 3 years)
Not exceeding 500 litres €3.81
Exceeding 500 litres but not exceeding 2,500 litres €7.62
Exceeding 2,500 litres but not exceeding 5,000 litres €11.43
Exceeding 5,000 litres but not exceeding 25,000 litres €15.24
Exceeding 25,000 litres but not exceeding 50,000 litres €30.47
Exceeding 50,000 litres but not exceeding 100,000 litres €45.71
Exceeding 100,000 litres but not exceeding 250,000 litres €63.49
Exceeding 250,000 litres €126.97
Fee in respect of Licence transfer, replacement or amendment.
Transfer or replacement of a Licence: €3.81
Amendment of a Licence for a store not exceeding 25,000 litres: €3.81
Amendment of a Licence for a store exceeding 25,000 litres: 50% of original licence fee.