Fuel Bowser Regulations: Updated (2021)

This article covers the newly-enforced ADR road carriage requirements for mobile fuel bowsers to ensure your oil transportation equipment is compliant.

The updated regulations for fuel bowsers

These aren’t exactly new rules: the 15-year transitional period, which temporarily allowed the use of certain bowsers to be classified as Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) has come to an end as of the 9th of May 2019.

The transitional period was put in place after the government reclassified diesel and gas oil as combustible and flammable liquids and the fuels fell under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).

What does this mean?

What the end of the exemption means for fuel users is that any diesel bowser used to transport fuel on public roads or across public spaces must be officially classified as an IBC. This means:

  • 110% of the tank must be bunded
  • Your tank must be double-skinned
  • Your bowser must be checked at least every 30 months for external wear and be pressure tested, and internally inspected every 5 years
  • It must have the UN packaging symbol (either as a sticker or stamped into the bowser itself) and its identifying IBC code
  • Road-worthiness tests must be logged and your documentation kept somewhere safe

If your fuel storage tank meets all of the above conditions, then it’s most likely classified as an IBC. All bowsers manufactured after 2004 should meet IBC standards under ADR regulations, but you should check your bowser and its documentation if you’re in any doubt as to its status.

An IBC’s documentation should show both its IBC status and the specifics of the type of IBC it is. You should keep this documentation and any service certifications in a safe place, as the Department of Transport can ask to inspect your bowser at any time.

How diesel bowser regulations have changed

The changes date back to 2004, when red diesel (gas oil) and white diesel (derv) were reclassified. With their new status as flammable and combustible liquids, they fell under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)

The industry was given a 15-year exemption period to switch over to internationally-approved IBCs, which ran out on 9th of May 2019.

What the new diesel bowser regulations mean for you

The new fuel storage tank rules and regulations might seem inhibitive, but they are designed to ensure the fuels are transported safely on public roads. You can still use oil bowsers to store and move fuel around on a private site – so long as you meet the applicable health and safety requirements.

The only exemption still in place is for tractors that have towable fuel bowsers that are pulled under 40kmph; so long as the fuel bowser is safe, roadworthy and is only filled to its maximum design capacity then the exemption applies.

Need a new IBC or fuel storage solution?

If your bowser’s starting to look its age, or if you’re unsure whether your IBC is up to scratch, don’t worry. We have a range of IBCs, bowsers and fuel storage solutions to fit your needs which are fully compliant with all relevant regulatory bodies.

Beesley Fuels can help ensure you have a bowser that meets the updated regulations. For an inspection of your oil storage tanks or to discuss fuel storage solutions, call us on 0330 123 1144 and our team will be in touch.

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