The Explosives Regulations 2014 include a set of authorisations which allow activities that without an authorisation would be against the law.
Because of the potential that explosives have to cause both accidental and deliberate:
the authorising bodies that issue or grant those authorisations are under a duty to refuse to give someone an authorisation unless certain requirements are met.
The authorising bodies that issue or grant those authorisations are also under a duty to revoke an authorisation when they believe that the original requirements for issuing or granting the authorisation are no longer being met.
Refusals and revocation of explosives certificates , provides information on when an application for an explosive certificate should be refused by the Chief Officer of Police or when an existing explosives certificate should be revoked. It also provides advice on the appeals process.
The regulation also requires a chief officer of police to refuse an explosives certificate unless they are satisfied that:
Regulation 21 of ER2014 allows a chief officer of police to revoke an explosives certificate they have previously issued, at any time, if they are satisfied that the holder was not, when the certificate was issued, or is no longer a fit person.
The regulation also requires a chief officer of police to revoke an explosives certificate they have previously issued, at any time, if they are satisfied that the holder:
If an explosives certificate is revoked the holder of a certificate must surrender it to the chief officer of police who issued it immediately after the notice of revocation has been served.
Regulation 22 allows a person aggrieved by the decision of a chief officer of police that
to make an appeal to the Crown Court, or, in Scotland, to the Sheriff.
Any application to appeal has to be made within 21 days of receiving notice of the chief officer of police’s decision to refuse or revoke the explosives certificate.
Refusals and revocation of a licence to manufacture or store explosives provides information on when an application for a licence should be refused by the licensing authority or when an existing licence should be revoked. It also provides advice on the appeals process.
The Regulation also makes provision for refusals of renewals, transfers and variations of licences.
Where a licensing authority proposes to refuse an application for a licence, a renewal ,a variation or transfer of a licence it must, before taking any action, notify the applicant of its proposed course of action. The licensing authority must give the applicant the opportunity of making representations about it. The representations may be made in writing, or both in writing and orally, to the licensing authority within a period of 28 days from the date of the notification.
If the licensing authority decides to refuse the application, it must provide the applicant with written reasons for its decision.
Regulation 23 allows the licensing authority which grants a licence to, revoke that licence :
A person whose licence is revoked must ensure that all explosives are removed from a site as soon as is practicable after revocation of the site’s licence and that either;
They must also ensure that the licence is returned to the licensing authority within 28 days of the date that the revocation takes effect (to be determined by the licensing authority).
Where a licensing authority proposes to revoke a licence, it must, before taking any action, notify the applicant of its proposed course of action It must give the applicant the opportunity of making representations about it. The representations may be made in writing, or both in writing and orally to the licensing authority , within a period of 28 days from the date of the notification.
If the local authority decides to revoke the application, it must provide the applicant with written reasons for its decision.
A person aggrieved by the decision of a licensing authority to refuse or revoke a licence can appeal to the Secretary of State under section 44 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
In making its decision on whether or not a site was suitable a licensing authority would be expected to consider each site on its own merits.
A licensing authority’s decision might for example be due to:
even if the relevant separation distance requirements can be met.
The licensing authority may also refuse a licence if it believes that the storage would present an unacceptable risk to people living in adjoining residential premises. Further information on the storage of explosives in places that adjoining residential premises can be found in subsector guidance.
Not a fit person
The regulations require licensing authorities to refuse licences and allows them to revoke licences when they are of the opinion that someone is not a fit person to manufacture or store explosives.
In general a person will not be a fit person when they have either:
The concept of an unfit person implies that the licensing authority does not have confidence in the individual’s willingness or ability to abide by the Regulations or the licence conditions, ie it has grounds for believing that there is a significant risk of a breach.
Inability to work to the standard expected
The fact that a person has committed a breach of the licence or the Regulations or other health and safety legislation is not in itself necessarily grounds for regarding them as unfit to hold a licence.
This decision will always need to be taken on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the circumstances of each individual case. However, examples of circumstances where the licensing authority might take this view are:
In cases where breaches are due to incompetence, rather than to deliberate disregard of the law or of previous warnings, it may be more appropriate for the licensing authority to take enforcement action (such as the issue of improvement or prohibition notices, in order to give the person the opportunity to comply with legal requirements. Clearly, if the person then fails to comply with enforcement action and/or continues to demonstrate incompetence, the licensing authority may then conclude that he or she is not a fit person and, consequently, refusal or revocation of the licence may be appropriate.
Otherwise unfit to hold a licence
In considering whether a person is fit or not, the licensing authority will be primarily concerned to consider whether it has evidence to give it reasonable grounds for believing that the person cannot be relied upon to manufacture or store the explosives:
In considering this, the licensing authority will be primarily looking at evidence of breaches of the licence or of other relevant permissions or legislation.
Examples of behaviours that might identify a person as being unfit to hold a licence (or a corporate body when the controlling mind of that body is considered ) would include:
Criminal convictions would not be expected to automatically disqualify someone from being granted a licence. The licensing authority will only consider whether:
it has any reason to believe that the applicant is not a fit person.
Licensing authorities should only take account of convictions that are not ‘spent’ for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.