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Old 07-05-2005, 05:17 PM   #1
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Limitations on petrol

Have any of you guys encountered any problems when buying fuel for your boat ?

I recently dropped into the local Tesco to fill up my two 5 gallon plastic Mercury tanks. After getting 20 litres of Gordon Brown's blank cheques into the first tank, the pump cut off. So I looked in the general direction of the kiosk. Out popped a rather concerned looking female attendant ranting on about "is that a proper petrol container" ? She approached closer and took another closer look and walked away satisfied that it was. In a minute or so the pump kicked in again and I brimmed the two tanks.

Problem over I thought. Not so. Plastic in hand, I went to pay Gordon. "Eh, excuse me Sir", the attendant exclaimed. You are only allowed 5 litres of fuel in a container and you are only allowed two containers. We are not supposed to dispense any more than that. We could loose our licence. "In future, we will not allow you to dispense as much as you have today".

So off to the Trading Standards office I went. "Do you limit the amount of fuel dispensed" ? I asked. "Nope" was the reply. "Only the container type". "Will you take away Tesco's licence if they dispense more than 10 litres to me" ?

"Nope" again was the reply.

So, were Tesco b***sh*tting me ?

Maybe they don't want boaters clogging up their forecourts in case the motorists get a bit tetchy ?

Maybe they are concerned about the safety aspect of me daring to drive home with 2 tanks worth of the flamable stuff in the boot. I don't really think that is their shout.

Is this more jobs worth from our nanny state ?

Gaunyersell.
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Old 07-05-2005, 05:39 PM   #2
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Perhaps Gavs experience?

http://www.boatmadforum.co.uk/showth...ighlight=tesco
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:33 PM   #3
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iv'e also had the same problem.so now i take the boat down to fill up and block the whole forcourt ,feck em.
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Old 07-05-2005, 11:35 PM   #4
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Country: Scotland
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if all else fails then I'll do just that, however, I like a challenge and don't intend letting them off that easy.
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
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There is a whole long thread on rib.net about it - they have written to everyone and got lots of official sounding answers!
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Old 08-05-2005, 09:49 AM   #6
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http://www.rib.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9310
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Old 08-05-2005, 04:25 PM   #7
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I've taken a look at the RIBnet site and pulled the following :-

(My comments are in red.)

Here are the Guidance Notes from the RYA

Up dated March 2005

Transporting petroleum spirit in portable containers

Using a vehicle to purchase petrol for your boat, Club or Sailing School:-


Current Regulations allow you to use a vehicle to purchase, from a filling station, a maximum of 333 litres of petrol at any one time providing:-

- You are taking the fuel directly for use in your Boat, Club or Sailing School

- You are not intending to “store” the petrol in your vehicle, overnight or longer

- The petrol filling station permits this level of purchase at any one time. Petroleum Licenses sometimes specify single purchase maximum quantities.


TESCO had a problem with me filling 2 x 22 litre petrol tanks.

- A combination of one or more of the following “suitable” containers is used for the purchase:-

The RYA seem, quite rightly in my opinion, to distinguish between a PLASTIC CONTAINER (the sort of thing you would use for filling your lawnmower) and an outboard engine petrol tank.

• Plastic containers for petrol storage must be "suitable", made of special strong plastic and of no more than 5 litres capacity. They must be indelibly marked with the words "Petroleum Spirit - Highly flammable". There are no plastic containers of over 5 litres that are "approved". Normally 5 litre approved plastic containers for petroleum use are either red or green.

• Metal containers for petrol storage must be “suitable”, have a secure lid with a washer seal to prevent leaks or evaporation (e.g. jerry cans). They may be filled with petrol on a petrol station forecourt provided their capacity does not exceed 23 litres (5 gallons). These containers must also be indelibly marked with the words "Petroleum spirit - Highly flammable".

Outboard petrol tanks whether plastic or metal must be “suitable” and may be filled on a petrol station forecourt. Additional approved spare tanks may also be filled at the same time.
( Trading Standards have informed me that they imposed no upper limits on the amount of fuel which is dispensed, therefore in theory, Tesco, shouldn't have any gripes.) Also, note that RYA doesn't actually state a maximum capacity of the outboard petrol tank(s)

Storage of petroleum spirit

• In a vehicle – In addition to the normal amount in a vehicles fuel tank, Motor Vehicle Regulations currently allows up to 30 litres of petroleum spirit to be permanently stored in a vehicle or in its normal domestic garage. This storage must be in suitable containers as follows: - 2 x 10 litre in metal containers plus 2x 5 litres in plastic containers.

• At your Club - If your Club's petroleum storage facility exceeds 30 litres but is less than 275 litres (45 gallon drum size) then you are required to notify your local authority.

- Petroleum storage facilities should ideally be self contained and set at least 6 metres away from other premises or public areas. - The 30 litre permissible allowance applies to each separate storage area, so it could be acceptable for your Club to have more than one storage area each of less than 30 litres. In this case, your Club you may not be required to notify the Local Authority.

• In your boat - Current storage regulations also allows outboard petrol tanks to be stored in their boat provided they are properly connected to the engine. However, if fuel tanks are removed from engines and stored separately, then the Local Authority will need to be notified if their collective stored volume again exceeds the 30 litre allowance.

These notes are for guidance only and were compiled from the relevant sections within the following Regulations:-

- The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004

- Petroleum Consolidation Act 1928

- Petroleum Spirit (Motor Vehicle) Regulations 1929

- Petroleum Spirit (Plastic containers) Regulations 1982

If you have any concerns about the safety of your Club's petroleum spirit storage facility, we recommend you consult with your local Petroleum Licensing authority for advice on the suitability and safety of your present arrangements

. As the regulations differ for Clubs with employees you should contact your Local Trading Standard Officer, Petroleum Licensing Officer or the Health & Safety Executive for full details of the rules relating to storage of petrol in a working environment.

. The legislation on the storage of petrol is being updated and simplified over the next few years. Do stay in touch with you Local Trading Standards Officer who will be able to keep you up to date and informed of the changes and how they affect you.

. The Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration website is full of useful information and can provide you with contact details for your local Licensing Authority ww.apea.org.uk

Peter Waring – RYA Club Safety Ashore Advisor – March 2005


This would appear to be fairly clear advice. Whether or not TESCO interpret this information in the same way as I have is open to debate. We shall wait and see.
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Old 10-05-2005, 10:30 AM   #8
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I normally use my local ASDA and pop in and ask first, as I'm a regular & the fact they are the correct type of containers have easily obtained upto 50L. The key I find is asking first.

I did go to a Tesco in East Dorset, asked the question and the reply was 'don't spill any on the forecourt' so it goes to show if you're nice then you get results.
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Old 10-05-2005, 03:10 PM   #9
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Thumbs down Tesco

I had this problem about 2 years ago in Tesco at Weston.
There was a right old battle axe that worked there at the time.
She would not turn on the pump until she had inspected the fuel container first.
Even when I chaged the boat to an inboard fuel tank she would still check.
I used to put the fuel container in the boot of the car just to p*ss her off so she thought that I was filling the car up.
Bloody jobs worth......I do remember security being called on at least one occasion when I lost my temper with her

Still that seemed to cure it she didn't pester me anymore after that.
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:52 PM   #10
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the other loop holes are you may take more than 10 litres of petrol other than for a boat if you are military or a game keeper and it is for use in those trades. How can they prove you are not a game keeper ?
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