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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:
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 a certificate to store more than 2000kg of explosives please visit the HSE website:
The HSE and Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration websites provide additional information:
or alternatively, contact the Health and Safety team.
Do I need a licence for to hold a firework display?
You do not need a licence to hold a firework display. A licence however is required to store explosives.
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 information on these type of licence below:
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:
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:
The HSE also have specific web page for organising a firework display:
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:
For large events with high number of attendees you may be 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:
Are my premises suitable for storing explosives?
For full information and guidance on the safe storage of explosives please visit the HSE website:
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.
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:
|1 year||2 years||3 years||4 years||5 years|
|New licence <250kgs NEC||£113||£147||£181||£215||£248|
|Renewal of licence <250kgs NEC||£56||£90||£125||£158||£193|
|1 year||2 year||3 years||4 years||5 years|
|New licence >250kgs NEC||£193||£253||£317||£390||£441|
|Renewal of licence >250kgs NEC ||£90||£153||£215||£277||£340|
The HSE and Association of Petroleum and Explosives Administration websites provide additional guidance and information:
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.
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 my application is refused how do I appeal?
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?
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements.