Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Have you bought or are looking to buy an existing service station? Are you currently operating a service station and not sure if you're meeting your requirements? In this series we look at some of the things you need to consider to make sure you’re compliant.

Image of a service station with a document in front.
What documentation do you need?

When buying a service station you need to make sure you get as much documentation as possible from the previous owners. In this article we look at some of the critical documents you need from a Dangerous Goods compliance perspective.

This article is general information only. For expert advice specific to your needs, get in touch.


If located in Western Australia, the first thing to ask for is their dangerous goods site licence. If the site is currently operating it must have a dangerous goods site licence issued by the Department of Mines, Industrial Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). If they were previously operating as a service station you can request a copy of the licence from DMIRS and potentially any documentation submitted as part of the original licence application.

Read this article to help you check the licence’s validity.


The facility should have drawings showing the as-built condition of the fuel storage and handling system. Ideally you need drawings which show:

  • The location of underground tanks

  • How the underground tanks connect to the dispensers

  • The type and make of the underground tanks

  • The electrical services between dispenser, control console and pumps (if a pressure system)

  • A Dangerous Goods Site Plan which meets DMIRS requirements

A line drawing of an underground tank fuel farm
Underground Tank Installation Details


A printed docket showing current tank inventory
Tank Inventory Docket

Service station operators have a duty to keep records for a number of years depending on the type of record. Some records are required to be kept for the life of the facility. As a minimum you should ask for:

  • Underground tank inventory records (daily dips or records from site automatic tank gauge)

  • Records of any dangerous goods related incidents.

  • Testing and maintenance records for the cathodic protection system (if installed).

  • Certifications by the designer, installer and manufacturer of the fuel storage and handling equipment.

A full list of the records you need to keep as an underground tank owner can be found in AS 4897 - The design, installation and operation of underground petroleum storage systems.


A service station must have an up to date dangerous goods risk assessment in place. This should be available from the previous owners or obtainable from DMIRS as part of the original licence application package (if the site is in WA) . Read this article to check if your risk assessment has expired. You can find out more about dangerous goods risk assessments here.


You will be required to have written operation, construction, maintenance and emergency procedures to operate your new service station. If you can get some of these from the previous owners that may save you some time and money in writing new ones. Some critical procedures to ask for include:

  • Emergency Response Plan

  • Tank Dipping / Reconciliation Procedure

  • Operating procedures for the fuel control system

  • Maintenance procedures for the fuel storage and handling system

A written procedure for spills which fades out
Spill Procedure Example


If you are planning on buying a service station, or you have a service station and aren't sure if you are compliant, our recommendation is talk to an expert and read some of our other articles about dangerous goods safety and compliance. You can also read this self check guide for service station owners. We are happy to have a free, no-obligation chat about your requirements to make sure you understand what is required to operate a compliant service station.


This article was prepared as general guidance only and based on information current at time of publication. The use of this information is at the reader's own risk, Cadre Engineering accepts no liability for any outcomes of following this guidance. For expert advice, specific to your needs, please get in touch.

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