Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Mobile bowsers for oil and fuel

Mobile bowsers for oil and fuel

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.


What you must do

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. For more information, see the page in this guideline: Oil storage container requirements

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. For more information, see the page in this guideline: Secondary containment systems for oil storage containers.

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
  • you must fit a lockable valve to the pipe at the end where it leaves the container, and this must be locked when not in use.

In Scotland you must also secure any sight gauges to the mobile bowser, which must have a valve or tap that is locked shut when it is not in use.

For further information on securing pipework, see the page in this guideline: Oil container pipework and fittings requirements.


Good practice

Even if the Oil Storage Regulations do not apply to your oil storage, you should still consider meeting the requirements of the regulations. For more information on reducing the risk of pollution if you use mobile bowsers you can read the Guidance for Pollution Prevention (GPP) 2


Further information

NIEA and SEPA Water Pollution Hotline 0800 80 70 60

DAERA: Oil storage guidance for Northern Ireland

SEPA: Oil storage guidance for Scotland

GPP 2 Above ground oil storage tanks (Adobe PDF - 276KB)

In this Guideline

Where to locate your oil storage container

Requirements for your oil storage container

Secondary containment systems (Bunding)

Pipework and fittings for oil storage

Mobile bowsers for oil and fuel

Maintaining your oil storage containers

Prevent pollution: dealing with oil spills

Oil storage - Further information

Oil storage environmental legislation

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