Tank design approvals

Under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, the design of a tank that is used for dangerous goods transport must be approved by the competent authority before it can be used to transport dangerous goods.

This includes tanks that form an integral part of a tank vehicle, and portable or demountable tanks used for dangerous goods transport.

These are considered packagings for dangerous goods transport, and require approval under Sections 46-52 of the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2022 that sets out requirements regarding tank design approval, and is administered by the EPA.

In NSW the competent authority which approves tank designs is the EPA. Approval for other types of dangerous goods packagings in NSW is performed by Safework NSW.

For technical questions relating to approvals, email hazardous.materials@epa.nsw.gov.au

Applying for a tank vehicle design approval

To obtain a tank vehicle design approval, a tank manufacturer or other company must

1. Engage an engineer to review the tank vehicle design.

The engineer must

  • have appropriate qualifications at university level
  • have expertise and experience in dangerous goods vehicle design
  • hold or be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia in the occupational category of professional engineer at the member grade
  • be able to provide evidence to the EPA on request that they meet these standards

 Complete the application form (DOCX 136KB)

3. Prepare the compliance reports for the tank type

Compliance report Applies to

AS 2809.1-2023 (DOCX 134 KB)

All dangerous goods

AS 2809.2-2023 (DOCX 137KB)

Flammable liquids

AS 2809.3-2021 (DOCX 145KB)

Compressed liquified gases

AS 2809.4-2022 (DOCX 137KB)

Toxic and corrosive cargoes

AS 2809.5-2022 (DOCX 137KB)

Bitumen-based products

AS 2809.6-2019 (DOCX 143KB)

Cryogenic liquids

AS 2022-2003 (DOCX 136KB)

Anhydrous ammonia

Vacuum Tanker (DOCX 141KB)

All vacuum tankers

*Note: In 2019, the competent authorities panel agreed that for 12 months after the publication of a new edition of a standard, the standard it supersedes may continue to be used for tank design applications. Where possible, you should assess the design against the latest published part of the standard.

3. Provide the following

  • copies of all relevant specifications, calculations, plans and drawings of the vehicle that show how the tank will form part of or be attached to the vehicle
  • photographs of the vehicle (if already constructed)
  • the plant design registration certificate for pressure vessels
  • the application fee

4. Email the completed application form, compliance reports, attachments and application fee to dgrp.licensing@epa.nsw.gov.au.

If the tank is intended for use outside NSW, the EPA will submit the design to the Competent Authorities Panel for consideration and national approval at its next scheduled meeting.

Once the application has been approved, you will receive a design approval number. This approval number must be included in a compliance plate fixed to the road tank vehicle as required in the ADG Code.

Applying for a portable tank design approval

To obtain a portable tank design approval, a tank manufacturer or other company should contact the EPA to discuss the proposed tank design approval, and to obtain the necessary form and templates.

Email hazardous.materials@epa.nsw.gov.au for more information.

Pressure vessel design approval numbers

A pressure vessel design registration number should not be confused with a dangerous goods tank approval number.

If the tank is also a pressure vessel (eg LPG tank), the application for design approval must include a pressure vessel registration number issued by SafeWork NSW (or its interstate equivalent) and all associated documentation.

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