Any person planning to keep explosives such as fireworks, safety cartridges or vehicle airbag detonators is required by law to have a current licence.
In October 2014 new regulations relating to the storage of explosives were introduced. The new regulations now refer to Net Mass - this is the quantity of explosive contained within the fireworks, and not to gross weight. Net Mass is the actual weight of the explosive itself, without the weight of packaging.
Amounts that don't need to be licenced
If you store less than 5kg of explosives that don't require an explosives certificate or less than 15kg of small arms ammunition, then you don't need to be licensed. Certain exemptions apply to the short term storage of fireworks, please contact Trading Standards for more information.
Storing between 5kg and 250kg
If you wish to store between 5kg and 250kg (Net Mass), you require an explosive licence. No separation distances will apply.
Storing over 250kg
If you wish to keep between 250kg and 2,000kg (Net Mass), you require an explosive storage licence, and separation distances will apply. Please contact the Trading Standards Service.
How much will it cost?
All Explosive Licences are renewable, generally annually, and are not transferable from one person to another. The current fees for a new Explosives Licence and a renewal of an Explosives Licence are:
- £105 for one year for a new Explosives Licence (up to 250kg Net Mass)
- £52 for one year for a renewal of Explosives Licence (up to 250kg Net Mass)
- £178 for one year for a new Explosives storage Licence (up to 2,000kg Net Mass)
- £83 for one year for a renewal of Explosives storage Licence (up to 2,000kg Net Mass).
How to apply and pay
You will also need to apply for an All Year Round fireworks licence if you intend to supply or expose for supply fireworks other than during the following periods:
- on the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding it
- on the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it
- during the period beginning on 15 October and ending on 10 November or
- during the period beginning on 26 December and ending on 31 December.
If you need to apply for an All Year Round fireworks licence go to the Selling Fireworks All Year Round licence information page.
This information is a brief summary of the law as it relates to the storage of explosives. It is not an authorative document on the law and is only intended for guidance. For further details or clarification please contact the Trading Standards Service.
For further information
Download the Fireworks - A Guide for Retailers [PDF 89KB] business information sheet or contact:
100 Chesterfield Road South
Tel: 01623 452005