Tanks and Pressure Receptacles

This page was last updated on 29th July 2020

Dangerous goods which are  transported by road or rail within Great Britain must comply with the requirements of The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (CDG 2009) SI 2009, No 1348.  These regulations implement the provisions of the European agreements, ADR, RID and the Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive (TPED) which, amongst other things, requires that tanks and pressure receptacles are tested, inspected and certified before they are first used and periodically thereafter. Only bodies appointed by the competent authority may undertake these tasks.

The Secretary of State for Transport, who is the competent authority for Great Britain, has set up an appointment scheme for conformity assessment and inspection bodies in order to meet these obligations. The scheme, which is operated by The VCA Dangerous Goods Office (VCA DGO), applies to:

and to bodies performing the functions of:

  • verification and certification of the design and/or construction of tanks and transportable pressure equipment and/or
  • initial examination and testing of tanks and transportable pressure equipment or examination and testing following a repair or modification to the tank shell and/or
  • periodic or intermediate examination and testing of tanks and transportable pressure equipment

Conformity assessment and inspection bodies may be appointed for one or more of the above functions but do not take on the role of the competent authority, responsibility for which remains with VCA DGO (administrative) and The Department for Transport Dangerous Goods Division (policy).

Application for Appointment

Arrangements for the appointment of bodies for tank inspection may be found HERE (PDF)

Applicants must be accredited to EN ISO17020:2012, “General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection”, by the United Kingdom Accreditation service (UKAS) before an appointment is made. However, in some circumstances, a temporary appointment may be made whilst accreditation is sought but this will be strictly time-limited

General guidance for potential applicants is given below.

  • Application for accreditation to ISO 17020 should be made to UKAS directly. Details can be obtained from the UKAS website.
  • At the same time, application should be made to VCA DGO to minimise any delay in processing.

Application for Appointment as an Inspection Body (PDF)

  • Information regarding appointments will be exchanged between VCA DGO and UKAS as necessary to facilitate the appointment.
  • When a temporary appointment is made to facilitate the accreditation process it will be for a maximum period of 12 months and no extension or further temporary appointment of the applicant may be made. It is therefore essential that accreditation be achieved within that period if there is to be no discontinuity in the applicant’s ability to undertake inspections. It should be noted that when offered, temporary appointment for transportable pressure equipment will be restricted to old pressure receptacles (i.e. non-TPED for GB use only) as TPED pressure equipment may only be inspected by bodies notified to the European Commission and only bodies who have gained accreditation may be so notified
  • Applicants should be aware that it may take several weeks for the appointment to be made once accreditation has been granted and must take this into account when scheduling regulated work.


UKAS  charge a fee for accreditation, details of which should be obtained from them.

VCA DGO charge fees for functions relating to appointment according to the following scale:

  • Initial appointment as an Appointed Person or Appointed Body: £1000.00
  • Variation or extension of scope: £300.00
  • Annual fee for maintaining existing appointments: £600.00

VAT is not applicable.

Approved tank requirements concerning the provisions for vapour recovery systems of mobile containers carrying petrol

The CDG regulations also completes the implementation of Directive 94/63/EC, which require the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions (petrol vapours) resulting from the storage and distribution of petrol, as set out in approved tank requirements.

Approved Tank Requirements (PDF)

Guidance on the Interpretation of ADR Chapter 6.10 for Vacuum Operated Waste Tanks (VOWTs)

The Department for Transport Dangerous Goods Division (DfT DGD) and VCA DGO have provided their interpretation on a number of issues that have arisen concerning VOWTs. This document is published on 06 May 2020 and the requirements contained within become mandatory from 06 November 2020.

Guidance on the Interpretation of ADR Chapter 6.10 for Vacuum Operated Waste Tanks (VOWTs) (PDF)

DfT Authorisation 839 – Tanks below ADR minimum thickness

DfT DGD have issued Authorisation 839 to permit the continued operation of tanks with shell thickness below the ADR minimum.

The main text of the authorisation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tanks-below-the-minimum-thickness

Approved tanks can be identified in the listings in the relevant schedules:

Schedule 1 – L4BN (General Purpose tanks)

Schedule 2 – LGBF (Fuel tankers)

Schedule 3 – Vacuum Operated Waste Tanks)

Note: This authorisation is applicable to tanks constructed with reduced shell thickness only – i.e. not for tanks which have had reduction in shell thickness during operation.

To add a tank to one of the schedules, an application must be made to VCA DGO with a supporting safety case indicating that safety is not otherwise compromised, and that all other provisions of the ADR regulations have been met. Applications should include the following information relating to the tank (items in bold are mandatory):

  • Tank serial number, exactly as displayed on the tank plate
  • Date of manufacture
  • ADR tank code
  • Products approved for carriage (as per GN-2020-02 (‘Guidance Note GN2’))
  • Any relevant special ADR provisions (e.g. TAx, TUx, TCx provisions)
  • Length of time the tank has been in service
  • Any relevant additional certifications e.g. IMO tank status
  • A report describing any corrosion or localised thinning of the tank shell, surge plates, baffles etc.
  • Construction code
  • Type approval number
  • Materials of construction

Applications are to be supported by the following documents where relevant (items in bold are mandatory):

  • Safety case, including the following:
    • Declaration by an AIB pursuant to the alternative carriage provisions in the authorisation
    • Calculations showing the tank can withstand appropriate stresses
  • Additional safety measures recommended by the inspector (e.g. removal of products, increased frequency of inspections)
  • Image of tank plate
  • Images of tank shell, baffles, surge plates
  • Thickness measurements
  • Drawings


Please email any questions regarding Tanks and Pressure receptacles to tanks@vca.gov.uk.