PURA warns against illegal petroleum vending, storage within residences

EYEAFRICA TV: Kairaba Avenue, THE GAMBIA:- The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has today warned against illegal vending and storage within residences, urging relevant stakeholders to stay vigilant and report suspected cases of non – compliance to PURA, NEA or The Gambia Fire Service.

The press release issued by PURA clearly stated its mandate and it reads;

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is mandated by the Petroleum Products Acts 2016 to regulate the entire value chain  of the downstream Petroleum sector.

Section 6 (2) of the Petroleum Products Act 2016 clearly stipulate that a person SHALL NOT perform petroleum products supply operations without obtaining a Licence.

PURA together with its core stakeholders NEA and the Gambia fire & Rescue Service have been carrying out close monitoring of petroleum products offered for sale in the local market to ensure consumers purchase fuels that;

1. Meet the minimum Gambian standards

2. Preventing adulteration of motor fuels

3. Illegal Importation through un-authoried ports

4. Prevent un-licensed waste oil recycling to produce low grade diesel

Over the years the Authority together with its partners have worked to increase access to fuel stations in The Gambia especially in the Greater Banjul Area. Therefore it is not only un-lawful but extremely to store large amounts of fuel in residences whether in storage tanks or in multiple 20-litre containers. The maximum allowable own-use installation shall not exceed 200L as per the HSE Regulations 2020.

Section 6(2) of the Petroleum Products Act 2016 makes it illegal for a person to perform petroleum products supply operations without obtaining the relevant licence. It has come to the attention of the Authority that some individuals have been enagaging  in the selling and distribution of petroleum products without the relevant licence.

The Authority in the performance of its statutoary mandate of monitoring petroleum products quality, quantity and standards of performance notes with serious concern the fire, health and safety danger related to this activity.

As a final note of caution, the general public is hereby advised about the associated risk of selling fuel without the required permit. Fuel stations owners are also warned that it is a violation of the HSE Regulations 2020 to purchase fuel from unlicesnsed importers. It is also illegal for any transporter to load and unload from facilities that do not pocess a valid Licence as required by the Transportation of Petroleum Products Regulaiton 2018.

With effect from the 1st of February 2021, the Authority will carry out enforcement action against all storage and vending of fuel located in homes as well as against any fuel station taking supplies from illegal sources. Vendors and fuel peddlers selling fuel from residences or garages may have the fuels seized.

The Authority urges members of the public, all Alkalos to stay vigilant and to report suspected cases of non -compliance to PURA, NEA or The Gambia Fire Service.

The Authority will carry out Enforcement Action during February 2020.

PURA- Working Towards Equity in Development, through Professionalism and Partnership.

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