How to store oil safely and legally

Storing oil in mobile bowsers


A mobile bowser is an oil container that may have wheels or be transported on or by another vehicle, but it can't move under its own power. If you use a mobile bowser to store oil you must comply with the relevant requirements of the Oil Storage Regulations.

Follow rules for using and storing mobile bowsers

You must ensure your bowser is in good condition and will not leak or burst in ordinary use.

Mobile bowsers must be stored within a suitable secondary containment system, for example a bund or a drip tray, or be a self-bunded bowser.

You must fit locks to permanently fixed valves or taps on the bowser that are used to discharge oil to the open. You must lock these shut when the valve or tap is not in use.

If you deliver oil through a flexible pipe that is permanently attached to the bowser, you must ensure that:

  • the delivery end of the pipe is fitted with a manually operated pump or valve that closes automatically when it is not in use
  • the pump or valve is lockable and you keep it locked shut when it is not in use
  • the end of the pipe that leaves the container is fitted with a lockable valve that you must lock shut when it is not in use

Good practice in oil storage

Even if the Oil Storage Regulations do not apply to your oil storage, you should still consider meeting the requirements of the regulations. You can download best practice guidance on above-ground oil storage tanks (PDF, 1.1MB).