Applying for a licence
The UK has left the EU, and some rules and procedures have changed from 1 January 2021.
This page explains how and where to apply for a licence.
|Activity||Licensing authority||Enforcing authority|
|Manufacture of explosives||HSE||HSE|
|Manufacture and storage of any quantity of explosives at ONR regulated sites||ONR||ONR|
|Storage of more than 2000 kg of explosives||HSE||HSE|
|Manufacture and storage of Ammonium Nitrate Blasting Intermediate (ANBI)||HSE or ONR (at ONR regulated sites)||HSE or ONR (at ONR regulated sites)|
|Storage of any quantity of explosives on the surface of a mine, whether in a building or not||HSE||HSE|
|Storage of any quantity of explosives within a harbour areas||HSE||HSE|
|Storage of up to 2000 kg of explosives if some of the explosives are either:
|Storage of up to 2000 kg of other explosives (including fireworks and small arms ammunition) the acquisition of which is NOT regulated or prohibited by virtue of the firearms Act 1968-97 where separation distances can be met, none of which requires and explosives certificate*||Local licensing authority||Local licensing authority|
|Storage of up to 2000 kg of explosives where separation distances in Regulation 27 and schedule 5 cannot be met||HSE or ONR (at ONR regulated sites)||HSE or ONR (at ONR regulated sites)|
|Handling explosives in a harbour||HSE||HSE|
* Explosives that do not require an explosives certificate are listed in Schedule 2 to the Explosives Regulations 2014.
Apply for a licence from the local Authority
Contact the licensing authority for the area where the site is located, for advice and an application form. Details on which local authority to apply to, is detailed below.
Local licensing authorities
England: The Fire and Rescue Service is the enforcing authority in the metropolitan counties (West Midlands, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Tyne and Wear, South, and West Yorkshire), as well as in Cornwall. For 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).
Scotland and Wales: For explosives not requiring an explosives certificate the enforcing authority is the local council.
Where a district council or city council has taken over the functions of the county council, the authority may have agreed with the police or combined fire authority for the fire authority to enforce and the administer licensing on its behalf.
Apply for a licence from the police
Contact the local explosives liaison officer. For the area where the site is located for advice and an application form. An example of the application form is available to view on the forms page.
Apply for a licence from HSE, transfer an existing licence or change the name of the licensee
To apply for a licence, transfer a licence or change the name of the licensee, you will need to complete the relevant form and send it, along with any supporting information, to the address given on the form. Information can be sent either electronically or in hard copy.
The relevant fees are payable on the scale laid down in the current Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations. HSE will not normally start work in detail on an application until it has received the relevant application fee
Before you apply for a new licence HSE recommends that you make yourself familiar with its Statement of Purpose for its licensing regime and its approach to determining the appropriate period that a new explosives licence should be granted for. If you are applying for a new licence or want to vary a licence and the activities you are undertaking on site require flammable substances or other dangerous substances or materials then you may want familiarise yourself with HSE's approach to when it would expect appropriate conditions to be part of the licence where those materials are likely to initiate or aggravate a fire or explosion.
HSE has produced guidance for its inspectors on the decisions they would be expected to make when considering applications for licences other than ‘fixed’ rule licences . While the approaches and procedures contained within this document are principally aimed at HSE staff they can serve as effective guidance to applicants for a new or varied licence when considered alongside information contained on HSE’s website and on relevant application forms.
Manufacture of explosives, storage of more than 2000kg of explosives, or Manufacture and storage of ANBI
- LP41 - application for a new explosives licence
- LP42 - application for a variation to an existing explosives licence
- LP46 – application for a new licence to Manufacture and store ANBI only
- LP47 - application for a variation to an existing explosives licence to manufacture and store ANBI only
- LP48 – Manufacture of explosives by means of on-site mixing
Transfer of a licence to another company/individual
If you want to transfer your licence to another company or individual, you should complete form LP43. The company or individual to who you are transferring your licence to should complete form LP44
Change of Name
If you are changing the name of the person or company that holds the licence (but not transferring your licence to another company or individual), your licence should be updated to reflect the new name. To apply for the change to your licence, please complete Form LP45.
Storage of less than 2000kg of explosives where separation distances can be met
Information on how to apply for a licence for less than 2000kg is available on the forms page.
Handling explosives in a harbour or Port
Applications can be submitted by a harbour authority, a berth operator or a person having interest in the activities involved.
To apply for a licence to handle explosives in a harbour or port, please complete form LP88.
Further information on handling explosives in ports is available.
Apply for a licence from the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR)
Contact ONR if you are applying for a licence for the manufacture and/or storage of explosives at ONR regulated sites.
The frequently asked questions page provides additional information on explosives licensing.