Licensing explosives in ports

Activities relating to explosives in ports are covered by the The Dangerous Goods in Harbour Areas Regulations 2016 (DGHAR).

DGHAR prohibits, with certain exceptions, explosives from being brought into or handled in a harbour area unless such activities are covered by an explosives licence granted by HSE.

An explosives licence is also required for:

  • loading explosives on board a vessel
  • unloading explosives from a vessel

when this occurs on any part of the coast or in the tidal waters of Great Britain or within the territorial waters adjacent to Great Britain.

The licence provides a means to specify any conditions or restrictions that need to apply to a particular harbour area, including limits on the type and quantities of explosive handled and where in the harbour area such handling activities may take place.

There are exceptions to the licensing requirements which either to explosives which do not present a significant risk, or because the conditions under which they are handled do not warrant a licence.

Ports licence applications

Applications can be submitted by a harbour authority, a berth operator or a person having interest in the activities involved.

Please go to Forms for the application form, detailed guidance notes and information on fees.

Security of explosives at ports

For advice on the security of explosives at ports, contact the Explosives Inspectorate.

Relevant forms and documents

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Updated: 2024-06-12