Explosive licences

Do you need to be registered or licensed to sell explosives, how to apply for an explosives licence, when to make an application, how long is the process, how to appeal a decision, and who you can contact.

Do I need a licence for the sale or storage of explosives or fireworks?

A licence is required if storing up to 2000kg of explosives.  

The types of products covered include:

  • blasting explosives
  • ammunition and shooters' powders
  • black powder
  • fireworks
  • marine flares.

Certain quantities of explosive can be kept for short periods of time and/or limited quantities, without the need for a licence.

If you are selling fireworks from any premises then you are storing them prior to sale and must be licensed.

For further information

The HSE and Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration websites provide additional information:

Health and Safety Executive - explosives (external website)

Health and Safety Executive - explosives regulations guidance (external website)

Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration (external website)

or alternatively, contact the Health and Safety Team.

Do I need a licence for to hold a firework display?

You do not need a specific licence to hold a display. However, you will require a licence from the Health, Safety and Licensing Service for either alcohol sales or street trading (stalls) at the event. 

Please find links to our website on these type of licence below:

Temporary event notices

Street traders

If you propose to use the council's land as part of your event you will be required to make an application and obtain permission to do so, please find a link below with full information on this process:

Organising an event on council land

Planning a safe event is important. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a webpage that covers important planning tools such as risk assessments and contingency planning:

HSE - Event safety (external website)

The HSE also have specific web page for organising a firework display:

HSE - Fireworks displays (external website)

The Purple Guide has been written by The Events Industry Forum in consultation with the events industry. Its aim is to help those event organisers who are duty holders to manage health and safety:

The Purple Guide to health and safety (external website)

For large events with high number of attendees you maybe invited to the council's ESAG. Typically, this would be for events with high-risk activities and/or over 1000 attendees. In some cases if a large event has been referred to ESAG previously and been held on multiple occasions without issue, the core members may decide that it is no longer asked to attend unless there are changes or issues. If you are unsure, please contact us to check if you will be invited to the ESAG:

Email: health.safety@eastriding.gov.uk

Are my premises suitable for storing explosives?

To help you understand the different options and requirements for storing explosives, West Yorkshire Fire Service have produced a flowchart for retailers:

West Yorkshire Fire Service - Firework storage flowchart (external pdf)

Are there any conditions attached to the licence or registration?

All licences will include the type and quantity of explosive to be stored.  More detailed conditions relating to the premises may also be attached and sent with the licence.

 How do I apply for an explosives licence?

You must apply for a licence prior to storing explosives (including fireworks). The licensing requirements vary according to type and quantity stored.

Apply online

Apply for an explosives licence online

Download form

Explosives licence application form (pdf 98kb)

If you aren't able to download the form, then please contact the Health and Safety Team.

You do not need to provide any other evidence in the form of documents or plans with the application but the application must be submitted together with the appropriate fee

Will my premises be inspected or assessed? 

Yes, your premises will be inspected and assessed as part of the application process, for new applications or for material changes to existing licences. 


The Health and Safety Executive sets the fees for explosive licences each year.  The current fees are shown in the following tables: 

Explosives licensing below 250kgs Net Explosive Content (NEC)
  1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years 5 years
New licence <250kgs NEC £111 £144 £177 £211 £243
Renewal of licence <250kgs NEC £55 £88 £123 £155 £189
Variation/transfer/replacement £37        
Explosives licensing above 250kgs up to maximum 2000kgs Net Explosive Content (NEC) 
   1 year 2 year  3 years  4 years  5 years 
New licence >250kgs NEC  £189  £248  £311  £382  £432
Renewal of licence >250kgs NEC
 £88  £150  £211  £272  £333
Variation/transfer/replacement  £37        

For further information 

The HSE and Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration websites provide additional guidance and information: 

Health and Safety Executive - Explosives (external website) 

Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration (external website) 

To confirm whether you need licensing, contact the Health and Safety Team to talk through the type and quantities of explosives you wish to store. 

How long will it take to process an application?

We will consider the application before issuing, renewing, modifying or transferring a licence.

We may have to conduct site visits and require the production of other documentation to ensure that statutory requirements are being met.

Once we have received your application together with the correct fee and we are satisfied that the premises meet statutory requirements, we will agree to issue, renew or modify the licence.

It is likely to take 4 weeks to process any application received, so please allow enough time when applying for a new licence.

If I do not hear from you for 28 days, can I assume it has been granted ("tacit consent")?

No. Tacit consent will not apply. This is because it is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact the Health and Safety Team.

If my application is refused how do I appeal?

If your application is refused, contact the Health and Safety Team and we will discuss your application with you.

If you are refused a licence or registration by the council you can appeal to the secretary of state under Section 44 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

How long does the licence last and what is the renewal procedure?

The registration or licence has to be renewed annually. A minimum of 28 days before it lapses we will send you a renewal application form.

This should be completed and returned to us, along with the appropriate fee.

How do I tell you about any changes that affects my licence?

You will need to formally notify us well in advance of the proposed changes so that we can consider if a variation to the licence is required. There is no fee associated with this.

To notify you need to contact the Health and Safety Team.

How can I transfer a licence to another person once it has been issued?

Applications to transfer a licence must be made in writing. Please contact health.safety@eastriding.gov.uk to discuss your requirements.

Who do I contact?

To find out more, please contact the Licensing team:

Email: health.safety@eastriding.gov.uk

Health, Safety and Licensing Service
Housing and Public Protection
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
County Hall
HU17 9BA.

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