Written statement to Parliament

Petroleum road fuel tankers compliance

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

An update on steps being taken to resolve issues around the safety of certain road fuel tanks found to not be fully compliant with the ADR.

Further to the written ministerial statement given by my honourable friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Robert Goodwill) on 24 October 2013, the Department for Transport has continued to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and industry to resolve an issue around the incorrect certification of fuel tankers manufactured in South Africa and certified as meeting international standards by Bureau Veritas. Following a detailed investigation these tankers were found not to be in full compliance with internationally agreed regulations (the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road – ‘ADR’).

Since the previous statement, about 100 new replacement tankers have been entering into service, reducing the number that are not in full compliance to around 130 tankers. During this time the Department for Transport commissioned a £1.5 million research programme to inform decisions about the future use of these vehicles. Based on the outcome of the research published today (18 December 2014) on GOV.UK, the date by which those tankers built after the middle of 2010 are to be withdrawn (about 70 tankers) will be extended subject to the outcome of further work to establish acceptance criteria that may allow an individual tanker to continue in use for up to 12 years after entering into service. Those tankers still in service that were built before the middle of 2010 are to be withdrawn as originally planned a year ago.

Over the same period new tankers from the manufacturer have been certified as ADR compliant by a different tank inspection body for supply to the UK, starting in the next few months. In the meantime, the department has an ongoing dialogue with industry over plans to resolve this issue using a process that maintains fuel supplies while upholding safety.