Terms and conditions

BGS Terms and Conditions: GeoRecords, GeoReports, Bookshop

Our Guarantee

British Geological Survey ("BGS") aims to ensure that any publication/record/report ("information") you order is delivered promptly and at an acceptable cost. If you find that your purchase does not match what you have ordered, you will be provided with a full refund for the item(s) if you inform us within 7 days of receiving the item. If the delivery is defective in any way, on return of the item we will send you a replacement within 7 days or again give you a full refund (including postage costs) if a replacement is unavailable. This guarantee does not affect any additional statutory rights you might have. The BGS Enquiries Helpdesk (contact details below) will be happy to assist you if you have queries or difficulties in ordering products/services or have problems with delivery.

Where BGS provides professional advice in the form of written reports, BGS warrants that the information will conform to any specification agreed with you and will be the best, comprehensive, up-to-date information we can provide. As a public body entrusted with public money, BGS is required to limit its liability to in providing professional advice and, consequently, any warranty provided is limited to ten times the cost payable by the customer or £50,000, whichever is the lesser. Where errors or omissions occur due to any information provided by you, BGS excludes all liability if information is provided which does not meet your requirements.

When providing information specific to use on computers or IT equipment, BGS accepts no liability for any loss or damage which may be caused by the condition of the disk or file in which the information is provided to you and you are expected to operate suitable anti-virus software before loading it into your computer system. You are further responsible for ensuring that the form of the information you have ordered is compatible with your computer system and any other data with which the information is to be used.

Nothing in these terms and conditions excludes or limits the liability of BGS for death or personal injury arising from its negligence, or for fraud, or for any other liability that, by law, cannot be excluded or limited.

Limitations Concerning Use of BGS Information

The use of information provided by the BGS is at your own risk. Please read any warnings given about the limitations of the information, either on our website or attached to the information.

Where BGS is providing information which is based on or has come via sources outside BGS, in view of the wide-ranging and disparate sources of information at BGS's disposal, including much material donated to the BGS that is accepted in good faith as being accurate, neither BGS nor our data creators or donors can give any warranty as to the quality or accuracy of that information or its suitability for any use. Therefore all implied conditions relating to the quality or suitability of that information, and all liabilities arising from the supply of the information are excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law. Where BGS is found to be negligent, any liability or damages will be limited to that provided in Clause 2 above.

When using BGS information, BGS draws customers or recipient's attention to the following considerations that may also affect the quality or accuracy of information supplied:

If a report or other output is produced for you by BGS on the basis of data you have provided to BGS, or via your own data input into a BGS system, it should not be relied upon as a source of information about other areas or geological features, as the report may omit important details. BGS excludes all liability in such cases.

Availability of Information/Goods

The index maps provided on this BGS website show where information is available. However, if for some reason, after you have paid for an order and the BGS is unable to provide it (for example, due to data or computing problems), we will inform you and offer an alternative or a full refund i.e. we are unable to guarantee we hold all stock or information as recorded on our website.

Customers should note the following conditions/restrictions in respect of availability of particular goods/services:-

Applicable to GeoRecords -

Some of the records held in BGS's National Geoscience Data Centre (NGDC) were donated by individuals or industry under conditions of strict confidentiality. For most of these confidential records, BGS will be able to advise you that the records exist (and their location will therefore be displayed on the index maps on this website) but we will not be able to provide you with a copy immediately. You will, however, be able to place a request for the record and BGS will make every effort to release this or advise you who to contact to request a release of the record. If you obtain permission to gain access from the owner, on confirmation of written permission from the owner, BGS will provide you with a copy, although there may be some associated cost recovery charges.

Applicable to GeoReports -

Locations defined by address:-if you ask us to locate your report using an address, we will do so using the Ordnance Survey's AddressPoint database to find the grid reference of your property. You should be aware that a small percentage of grid reference locations within this database have some uncertainty as to their exact position. We therefore recommend you to double-check the location of your GeoReport by using the map included in the Report, and by using other more detailed maps if you can. If you are in any doubt as to the accuracy of the location, please contact us.

Applicable to Bookshop -

Professional users are advised that our most recent mapping is now only updated and available digitally without production of a printed product. Our latest digital mapping is accessible via the GeoIndex, and may differ significantly from the older printed versions. All items are sold subject to stock levels. Some publications are only stocked in small quantities and stocks are continually changing. If items that you order are out of stock we will inform you and offer an alternative item or a full refund. We cannot guarantee to re-stock items where they are fully sold out.

Prices, payment and VAT

Payment is only be accepted in pounds Sterling. It may be made by credit or debit card (not by charge card, e.g. Amex), International Money Order, or Bankers' Draft. Electronic Fund Transfers, such as BACS (Bank Automated Clearing System) are also possible. Please contact us for details. For information on how we process your personal information, please refer to GDPR section of terms.

Our minimum invoice value is £100 (ex. VAT) when a credit card is not used. Payment for goods below this value can, however, be accepted by card (as detailed above).

BGS reserves the right to refuse to supply goods to purchasers that have previously defaulted on payment, or we will request pre-payment before supply of goods. Please note that customers wishing to pay by invoice (non-credit card transactions) may be credit checked for the purpose of setting up an invoice account and, if not wholly satisfied, BGS reserves the right to require payment by credit or debit card, rather than by invoice.

Value Added Tax (VAT) will be charged in accordance with current law/regulations.

Applicable to Bookshop -

Prices quoted in printed catalogues and internet pages are liable to change without prior notice; they do not include postage and packaging charges. Value Added Tax (VAT) is not currently charged on sales of books, guides or maps to the UK, EU or elsewhere. Other items may be liable to VAT and are indicated in catalogues, etc. At present UK VAT is charged, where applicable, on all items to be delivered to EU addresses, including purchases by EU VAT-registered customers.


Customers should note the following conditions/restrictions in respect of delivery of particular goods/services:-

Applicable to GeoRecords -

Records ordered through this BGS website will be dispatched using your preferred delivery method, options being: prints/photocopies by standard post/special delivery/faxing, or digital files (secure PDF format) by e-mail (if file size allows) or via the BGS Document Delivery Service/Citrix ShareFile. Records will normally be dispatched within 5 working days from receipt of the order. However, a special 24 hour Premium delivery can be requested at an additional charge, details of which can be found on the website.

Applicable to Bookshop -

Goods will be despatched by the most cost-effective means (which may be the Royal Mail or a courier) and normally within five working days of placing your order. Delivery charges are liable to change without notice. Postage and packing costs are calculated according to the quantity, size or total cost of items ordered and the destination. Whatever, you will only be charged the amount quoted.

Applicable to GeoReports -

Reports will be dispatched by email as secure PDF files or via a postal method in paper format according to customer requirements. Standard reports will be dispatched within one to two working days from receipt of order and payment. For bespoke reports, which require manual input, please allow up to fifteen working days on confirmation BGS has received all the necessary information. Delivery charges are included in the price of the report and the customer will only be charged the amount quoted.

In addition to the quoted despatch times, please allow five days for delivery in the UK, seven days in the EU and anything up to 30 days elsewhere. If your order is not received within this time please contact us immediately. Special delivery arrangements are available, however, please enquire before placing your order.

Lost, damaged or incorrectly supplied goods

BGS will take all reasonable steps to replace items damaged in transit or those that have been supplied in error. Where this is not possible, a full refund will be made (please see Availability above).

If an order is incomplete or damaged in transit, or has been incorrectly supplied, you should retain the goods together with all packaging and documents, and notify the BGS immediately. You should do this by letter, fax or email within 7 days of receiving the goods: beyond this period we cannot guarantee that replacements will be available. You then have the choice of having a replacement item or a full refund. Please ensure you quote any customer order numbers and include your full name and address in any communications.

Please do not return any faulty or incorrect goods unless asked to do so. We will give you instructions on how, or whether, to return these items, and may ask you to supply appropriate documents.

Cancelling an Order

Customers should note the following conditions/restrictions in respect of cancelling orders/delivery of particular goods/services:-

Applicable to Bookshop -

Within the terms of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, you have a seven working day cancellation period, which begins with the day after the date of delivery of the goods to your address and expires seven working days later. You must send written notification of the cancellation and all of the necessary information (name address, indication of items ordered) must be included to ensure we can give you the correct refund. This refund will be made within 30 days of our receipt of your notification of cancellation. Goods should be returned to us on cancellation of the order, in their original undamaged and unused condition. We recommend that you use a recorded delivery service to ensure that returned goods arrive promptly and undamaged. We will not pay the return postage of a cancelled order. If the goods are not returned to us, we will arrange to collect them, but reserve the right to deduct the cost of collection from your refund. For particular 'print on demand' items using BGS resources or in the case of significant staff time being used to fulfil the order up to the time of cancellation, we reserve the right to recover these costs, deducting this amount from your refund.

Applicable to GeoReports -

BGS offers no right to cancel after an order has been accepted: The products/services offered for sale from the BGS GeoReports Service are bespoke site-specific reports: they are reports produced to your specification/s, and there is therefore no right to cancel orders for these products.

Applicable to GeoRecords -

If notified in advance of BGS processing a GeoRecords request, orders can be cancelled. However, if an order has already been processed, the staff time used to fulfil the customer order up to the time of cancellation will be charged on a cost-recovery basis.


BGS takes all complaints seriously and will investigate the circumstances in each case. BGS hopes that the vast majority of cases, problems can be resolved verbally by simply contacting BGS via our Central Enquiries Desk. If, however, you are not satisfied that a complaint has been resolved or handled to your satisfaction, you may wish to make a more formal complaint. In such cases your complaint should be sent to the BGS by post, fax or e-mail. In all cases you should aim to provide as much relevant information as possible so that we can deal with your complaint as promptly as possible. Please also include your contact details in case we need to obtain more details from you.

All complaints in the first instance should be sent to the BGS Enquiries Helpdesk (contact details below).

You will receive an acknowledgement within five working days that your complaint has been received. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please contact the Head of Data & Science Services at the same address.

When acknowledging receipt of your complaint, we will give an indication of how long it will take to send you a response. In most cases, we would aim to provide a response within ten working days. However, this may not always prove possible, especially if we need to obtain further information or it is during a period where staff are normally not available (such as over the Christmas period). In these cases, we will keep you fully informed on the progress of your complaint, and endeavour to provide you with as full a response as possible as soon as we can.

If you have other enquiries or problems

If you have any queries about BGS publications or services, or if you have any problems with products or our service please contact the BGS Enquiries Helpdesk (contact details below). Your comments are always welcome.

Legal issues

In any disputes over such things as the description or supply of goods, payment, ownership, the contract will be deemed to have been made within England and will therefore be subject to the laws of England and Wales.

BGS regret that we are only able to handle enquiries and conduct business matters in English.

Applicable to GeoRecords -

The historical records held by the BGS date back to the 18th Century. During the intervening period the meaning of some words and/or descriptive terms has changed. In rare instances some historic records contain words once used commonly that might now cause offence. BGS policy is to provide the records in their original state without amendment or excision of content. This policy is consistent with that of The National Archives.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Please see our privacy policy -www.bgs.ac.uk/help/privacy.html


The copyright of materials derived from the British Geological Survey's work is vested in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and/or the commissioning authority under whose auspices the relevant work was carried out.

Permission to reproduce BGS materials

Other than where expressly stated, no part of the materials supplied through BGS services may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a retrieval system of any nature, without the prior permission of UKRI, through the British Geological Survey.

Guidance on what we consider is commercial and non-commercial use of BGS material, is available on the BGS website - www.bgs.ac.uk/about/copyright/home.html

Applicable to GeoRecords -

Where GeoRecords information is being purchased by you as a consultant in order for you to advise your client we consider that they are personal to you and created specifically for you. Whereas BGS has no objection to you passing extracts from the information to your client, we do require you to acknowledge BGS as the source of information - "Contains British Geological Survey materials © UKRI, [YEAR]. All rights reserved". Please note that this permission does not extend to the provision of the full information or report, as supplied by BGS, to your client; or permit you to set up a general bureau service to multiple clients in relation to extracts taken from the information.

Terms of Use

Please refer to our website - www.bgs.ac.uk/help/terms_of_use.html

Contact details for all enquiries

BGS Enquiries Helpdesk
British Geological Survey
Environmental Science Centre
NG12 5GG

Tel: +44 (0)115 936 3143 (Mon – Thu 9am – 5pm, Fri 9am – 4.30pm UK local time)
Fax: +44 (0)115 936 3276 (24 hours)
Email: enquiries@bgs.ac.uk
Website: www.bgs.ac.uk

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is the worlds longest established national geological survey and the UK's premier centre for earth science information and expertise.