Toggle mobile menu visibility

Guidance notes for applying for an explosives storage licence (including fireworks)

It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of, and comply with, the Explosives Regulations 2014. The licensing authority has the power to prohibit storage of explosives at the site if it believes the site is no longer suitable.

We may also take enforcement action if you are not storing the fireworks and explosives safely.

The normal permitted periods for the supply of fireworks are New Year, Chinese New Year, 15 October to 10 November and Diwali.

If you are intending to supply fireworks outside the normal permitted periods you will also need to make a separate application to your local licensing authority for a licence to comply with the Fireworks Regulations 2004.

General information on completing the application

1. This form should not be used for an application for a licence to store the explosives listed below:

  • relevant explosives
  • ammunition the acquisition of which is regulated or prohibited by virtue of the Firearms Acts 1968 to 1997
  • smokeless powder or percussion caps
  • explosives stored by a person who is registered as a firearms dealer under section 33 of the Firearms Act 1968

If you want to store the explosives listed above, you should use form ER2 available on the HSE website (opens new window)

You should only use this form if you want to store no more than 2000kg of explosives. If you want to store more than 2000kg of explosives you should apply to the HSE for a licence.

2. Please contact Trading Standards if you have any questions about completing this form or about your application. If you live in the metropolitan counties (that is West Midlands, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear, South and West Yorkshire) or in Oxfordshire, Cornwall or Norfolk, you will need to apply to the fire and rescue service. In other areas you will normally need to contact the trading standards department of your local authority

3Please note: Any previous convictions you may have may be subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and you do not have to include convictions that are 'spent' on this application form. Where the application relates to a corporate body or company convictions of all directors should be listed. Where the application relates in Scotland to a partnership, convictions of all partners should be listed.

4. Separation distances - please see Regulation 27 of the Explosives Regulation 2014 (opens new window). You will not normally be required to maintain separation distances if you store no more than:

  • 250kg HT4
  • 25kg HT3 (or combination of HT3 and HT4)
  • 0.1kg HT1
  • 0.1kg HT2

on one site. If you are unsure whether your store or on places where you will be manufacturing or processing explosives on site are subject to separation distances, contact your local licensing authority

The following documents should be submitted with the application form:

5. A plan to scale sufficient to show the location of the site in relation to its surroundings (ie named or numbered roads, hamlets, villages or geographical features). Where the site does not have a postal address this should normally be a minimum scale of 1:25000.

6. If the store is subject to separation distances you will also need to provide an Ordnance Survey Siteplan (or similar) map showing the location of the store and distances to any neighbouring buildings. The plan should also show any areas where you intend to process or manufacture explosives where a licence for those activities is not required under Regulation 6 of the Explosives Regulation 2014 (opens new window). The scale will depend on the separation distance. For a distance of up to 200 metres, a 1:1250 would normally be required while greater distance would require a 1:2500 or even a SuperPlan. Where this plan clearly identifies the location of the site in relation to its surroundings it can be substituted for the plan referred to in 5 above.

7. If you intend to store or display more than 12.5kg of fireworks on a shop floor, the licensing authority will require you submit a floor plan of the sales area.

8. If you intend to store, process or manufacture explosives within a building that is also used for other purposes you should include a floor plan showing the places within the building where you intend storing, processing or manufacturing the explosives.

9. The fee must also be submitted with the application. 

Hazard type and quantity

10. The licensing authority will need to know the hazard type and quantity of the explosives you wish to store to determine whether your store is suitable. The quantity you will be allowed to store will depend on the hazard type of the explosives. Please contact your supplier if you are uncertain about the hazard types of explosive you wish to store.

11. The "quantity" refers to the 'net mass'of the explosives. This means the weight of the explosive contained within an article ie less packaging, casings, etc

Period of validity

12. Licences for fireworks and other explosives that do not require an explosive certificate may be granted for up to 5 years as the licensing authority determines.