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An installation comes under ICPE legislation according to two criteria: its activity and its threshold. As soon as the regulatory thresholds for a given activity are reached, the installation is classified.

ICPE schemes

Once the ICPE classification has been identified, the installation enters one of the following five ICPE regimes. It is important to note that the greater the impact of the installation on the environment, the more restrictive the ICPE regime will be.

  • Unclassified: the activity meets an ICPE heading but the volumes remain below the classification thresholds. No particular prescription is to be respected with regard to the ICPE regulations.
  • Declaration: the operator must declare his installation to the prefect before it is put into service. The risk is managed through standard prescriptions at the national level: standard orders.
  • Declaration & Inspection: the installation is subject to Declaration, which is also subject to periodic inspection by an approved body. This control does not apply if the installation is part of an installation classified under the Authorization regime.
  • Registration: prior to its commissioning, the installation requires the filing of a registration request including a file meeting the applicable general requirements. A prefectural decree may be published to supplement the standard provisions provided for in the standard decree.
  • Authorization: prior to its commissioning, the installation is subject to the filing of an authorization request. The prefect can authorize or refuse the operation. If so, a prefectural authorization order specific to the installation is drawn up.

The nomenclature of classified installations is divided into four categories of headings:

  • Section 1xxx: substances (e.g. combustible, flammable, radioactive, etc.). Ex: 1510 – Storage of combustible materials, products or substances in covered warehouses.
  • Heading 2xxx: activities (e.g. agri-food, wood, waste, etc.). Ex: 2910 – Combustion Installations.
  • Section 3xxx: activities covered by the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Ex 3550 – Temporary storage of waste.
  • Section 4xxx: substances covered by the SEVESO directive (industrial establishment which presents risks of major incidents and activities related to the manufacture, handling, storage or use of dangerous substances). Ex: 4310 – Storage of flammable substances.

When an establishment has several classified installations, one of which is subject to authorisation, the principle of connection leads to the consideration that all of them are subject to authorisation.

The Lubrizol fire of September 26, 2019 highlighted several points in the context of warehouse operation. Some establishments do not meet the most recent construction standards: lack of information on stored products, approximate storage conditions, rapid spread of a flaming slick, domino effect, insufficiently prepared crisis management, etc. All these points considerably increase the risks in the event of a fire, both for the warehouse and for its environment.

The government has therefore decided to act on the following levers:

  • Reduction of risks at source: inventory management and storage conditions.
  • Limitation of spread in case of fire.
  • Compensation for the maintenance of certain storage facilities by measures allowing effective fire fighting.
  • Improved crisis management.

To achieve this, the government has implemented the “Post-Lubrizol action plan”. 7 new decrees were published on September 24, 2020 amending and/or supplementing the regulations in force:

  • 1 decree modifying the classification rules in the ICPE nomenclature.
  • 1 order supplementing the requirements relating to section “1510 – Storage”.
  • 1 order supplementing the requirements relating to all Authorization ICPEs.
  • 2 orders supplementing the requirements relating to the storage of flammable liquids.
  • 1 decree and 1 order reinforcing the obligations of SEVESO sites.

These requirements apply to new facilities from 1 January 2021, but also for the most part to existing facilities, with compliance deadlines extending until 2026 for the operator.
Following these innovations, we have detailed the objectives and the new applicable rules. The list is not exhaustive.


  • Limit double classifications and thus avoid the possible division of warehouses leading to the application of a less restrictive administrative regime.
  • Strengthen fire prevention requirements.
  • Refocus the fight against soil artificialisation.
  • Strengthen fire prevention requirements.

Modified rules

  • Addition of 1510.1 classification for covered warehouses subject to systematic environmental assessment.
  • Modification of rules for calculating storage volumes.
    • Removed double warehouse rankings.
    • Abolition of the Authorization regime for headings 1511, 1530, 2662 and 2663 (regime now integrated into that of 1510).
  • Modification of the classification thresholds, and in particular an increase in the thresholds relating to the authorization system. Certain materials to be accounted for under SEVESO headings are added to heading 1510.
  • Authorization scheme 1532 reserved for products likely to release flammable dust.
  • Extension of the obligation of the fire defense plan to all warehouses, which, regardless of their administrative regime, are subject to requirements relating to the distance of external storage from the walls and provisions relating to access control.
  • Study and implementation of measures to ensure the absence of thermal domino effect towards neighboring buildings or storages in the event of fire (for warehouses built before 2017).
  • Application to all warehouses covered by the authorization and registration regimes of the provisions relating to the state of stored materials:
    • Status of stocks for combustible materials updated weekly.
    • Location plan of the storage areas with mention of the dangers.
    • Daily update of inventory status for hazardous materials.
    • Annual physical inventory.

Whether you are the holder of the decree or whether it remains carried by SEGRO, we remind you that the classification of the building cannot be modified without the prior agreement of the Lessor. Our team of Property Managers is at your disposal to advise you in your efforts.

Your Property Manager contacts

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