Petroleum Licensing

Limerick City and County Council, as the licencing authority, has a role in relation to the licensing and inspection of premises and prosecuting any breaches of licences under the Dangerous Substance Act 1972 and Dangerous Substances Regulations 2019.

Dangerous Substances

Dangerous Substance Regulations 2019

The following Regulations have been signed into law in December 2019 and are in force from the 1st April 2020:

They repeal and replace the Dangerous Substances (Retail and Private Petroleum Stores) Regulations, 1979 (S.I. No. 311 of 1979) and the Dangerous Substances (Petroleum Bulk Stores) Regulations, 1979 (S.I. No. 313 of 1979).

These Regulations make a number of changes to the petroleum sector, to increase safety standards for employees, the public and the environment.

The Regulations are broader in scope than the 1979 Regulations and include diesel, as well as several ‘alternative fuels’ such as electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, synthetic and paraffinic fuels, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Click here for the new Regulations and a guidance document/ FAQs available on the website of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The guidance documents required to meet the regulations are indicated on Schedule 1 of the HSA Regulations.

Local Authorities charge a fee for licences under both Regulations which are set out in the Dangerous Substances (Licensing Fees) Regulations, 1979 (S.I. No. 301 of 1979)

The new Regulations provides for the inclusion of diesel, and indeed other flammable liquids and fuels. While diesel is not combustible at ambient temperatures, it can be an environmental hazard. As such, it should be subject to the same controls as other flammable liquids. In addition, where diesel is co-located with more flammable liquids, it may also become a hazard if those combust. The legislation that provides for this is the Dangerous Substances Act 1972 (Part IV Declaration) Order 2020 (S.I. No. 147 of 2020)

Application Pack

A Dangerous Substance Licence ‘Application Pack’ has been developed to assist applicants/ licensees/ owners or operators in making a submission to Limerick Fire and Emergency Services Department as the licencing authority.

The pack includes:

  • Application form
  • List of Current Fees
  • Publications that must be adhered to
  • What to include in the Risk Assessment
  • Maps and Drawings to Accompany the Risk Assessment
  • Model Electrical Inspection Report template

All relevant documents are available in the supporting documents at the end of the page.

License Obligations

For Retail and Kerbside Stores

All retail and kerbside stores which store flammable liquids and fuels for the purpose of sale or supply to the public must have a licence to operate, granted by the appropriate licencing authority.

For Distribution and Commercial Supply Stores

Bar exemptions as outlined in Dangerous Substances (Flammable Liquids and Fuels Distribution and Commercial Supply Stores) Regulations, 2019, and summarised below, distribution and commercial supply stores which hold flammable liquids and fuels for supply or sale to commercial enterprises, for supply to the licensee’s own vehicle, or for use in any engine under the licensee’s control must have a licence granted by the appropriate licensing authority.

The exemptions include:

  • Fuel stored for domestic heating
  • Fuel stored for private agricultural vehicles or premises,
  • Storage for manufacturing
  • Refineries, and oil jetties (which are addressed under separate Dangerous Substances Regulations)
  • Storage of category 1 flammable liquids (e.g. petrol) < 2,000 Litres
  • Storage of category 2 and 3 flammable liquids (e.g. diesel) < 5,000 Litres

The guidance documents required to meet the regulations are indicated on Schedule 1 of the HSA Regulations.



'Appropriate Licensing Authority' means the licensing authority with functional responsibilities for the area in which the retail store or kerbside retail store is located, or a licensing authority or group of licensing authorities designated as an appropriate licensing authority, or a body established to act on behalf of a licensing authority or group of licensing authorities and designated as an appropriate licensing authority. An appropriate licensing authority may also be an appropriate fire authority.

A ‘retail store’ means a place or premises used or intended to be used for the keeping for sale or supply to the public under a licence flammable liquids and fuels for use in the propulsion of a vehicle or the running of an engine of any kind.

A ‘kerbside retail store’ means a retail store, premises or location where flammable liquids and fuels are stored for the purposes of sale or supply to the public and are dispensed to vehicles that are parked on a public road, whether the dispensing equipment is located on a public footpath or otherwise, or the vehicle from which flammable liquids and fuels are transferred to the store is parked on a public road.

‘Commercial supply’ means the sale of flammable liquids and fuels to commercial operations, or the supply of flammable liquids and fuels for commercial activities, whether the flammable liquids and fuels are supplied to another person or company or within the same company

Role Of The Health And Safety Authority Under These Regulations

Under the Regulations for retail stores or commercial stores, the Health and Safety Authority is the ‘appeals authority’.

If a licence application for a retail store or commercial store is refused, or the store is the subject of an adjudication on any matter by the licensing authority, the owner or operator may appeal the decision to the Health and Safety Authority within 60/ 30 days from the date of the decision by the licensing authority.

*Kerbside retail stores can appeal decisions to the District Court.

Details on how to make an appeal can be found on the HSA website, click here.

Petrol Vapour Recovery Requirements

If you are a petrol station owner/operator you are obliged to ensure that your facility is so designed and operated in accordance with the Third Schedule of Air Pollution Act 1987 - Petroleum Vapour Emissions Regulations S.I. 375/1997. Click here for more. 

The objective of the regulations is to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere from vehicle re-fueling activities at service stations, in order to reduce the adverse impact of VOC on human health and the environment. 

Petrol contains VOC, carbon-based chemicals that evaporate readily into the atmosphere. Once emitted to air, VOC are associated with several health and environmental problems:

  • Formation of ground-level ozone and photochemical smog
  • Poor local air quality (benzene in air)
  • Atmospheric warming and climate change

To meet the requirements of the regulations a service station owner/operator is obliged to appoint an approved assessor who will carry out tests on their petrol station and submit a report and fee to the Council. If the Council is satisfied with the report it will issue a certificate of compliance with the above act. Certificates of compliance last a maximum of three years, and need renewal on expiry.

This service is provided by

Fire and Emergency Services

Phone +353 61 556859
Limerick City and County Council, Lissanalta House, Dooradoyle Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick, V94 WV78