This page outlines the security provisions in ER2014.

Robust security controls need to be in place before explosives operations begin , whether they are for work or non-work purposes and they should remain in place and be effective for as long as the operation continues. The security provisions of ER2014 provide the regulatory framework for identifying and implementing these security controls and are based on generally recognised principles of secure operation in the sector.

They are particularly relevant to dutyholders:

  • acquiring, keeping and transferring relevant explosives
  • manufacturing, storing, transferring and placing on the market civil explosives
  • manufacturing, possessing or transferring plastic explosives

The security provisions of ER2014 can be found in three parts of the regulations:

  • Part 10 - comprises 3 regulations (30-32) which relate to the:
    • prevention of unauthorised access
    • prohibitions concerning transfer of relevant explosives
    • Restrictions on prohibited persons
  • Part 11 – comprises 5 regulations (33-37) which relate to the:
  • Part 12 – comprises 1 regulation (38) relating to the security requirements for plastic explosives

Regulation 30 applies to everyone manufacturing, storing or keeping explosives. Those dealing with civil explosives will need to comply with regulations 8, 33, 34, 36 and 39. Those dealing with relevant explosives will need to comply with regulations 31, 32, 35 and 37.

Explosives certificate

Anyone wanting to acquire or keep certain explosives must have an explosives certificate, issued by the police. Schedule 2 of ER2014  lists the explosives that, together with smokeless powder, do not require an explosives certificate.

Contact your local police explosives liaison officer for further information on obtaining an explosives certificate.

Marking plastic explosives

Applies to all explosive substances commonly known as 'plastic explosives' – whether or not they are in explosive articles or devices, or in the form of flexible or elastic sheets.

The main provisions are:

  • anyone making plastic explosives that are finished products has to mark them with a detection agent
  • no one can possess, or transfer any unmarked explosive ( does not apply to a plastic explosive that is being manufactured)
  • No person may  import any plastic explosives into the United Kingdom that is unmarked

* A detection agent is a chemical that has been added to the plastic explosive to aid detect ability. The detection agents that can be used to mark plastic explosives can be found in part 2 of schedule 8 of ER2014.

The Regulations do not cover quantities sufficient for either researching, developing and testing new explosives or explosives detection equipment, or conducting forensic science.

Security of ammonium nitrate for blasting

Guidance on the security of ammonium nitrate used in blasting has been produced by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, in conjunction with the Quarries

National Joint Advisory Committee and HSE.

NaCTSO guidance leaflet

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Updated: 2023-07-11