The Health and Safety Executive's Explosives Inspectorate works in partnership with local authorities, fire and rescue services and the police in enforcing legislation on explosives in Great Britain (separate legislation applies in Northern Ireland).
In general terms the division of responsibilities is as follows. HSE has licensing and enforcement responsibility for:
- stores of more than two tonnes
- storage at mines and in harbour areas
- on-site mixing
- transport of explosives
Local authorities, fire services and the police are responsible for licensing and enforcement for stores holding less than two tonnes of explosive. The licensing/enforcement responsibility will depend on the type of explosive and on the area.
- The police are the enforcing authority if the explosives include either smokeless powder or an explosive that does requires and explosive certificate.
- The local authority or fire and rescue services are the enforcing authority if the explosives do not require an explosive certificate.
- The Fire and Rescue Service is the enforcing authority in the metropolitan counties (ie West Midlands, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear, South, and West Yorkshire) as well as in Cornwall and Oxfordshire the local licensing authority is the fire and rescue service.
- in all other areas the enforcing authority will normally be the Trading Standards Department of the local authority (in some parts of England this will be part of the County Council).