Licences for fireworks and explosives

The legal requirements for storing explosives are set out in the Explosives Regulations 2014.

Before storing explosives you will generally need a licence. Certain quantities of explosive can be kept for short periods of time and/or limited quantities, without the need for a licence. but the separation distance requirements of the regulations will still need to be met. Visit the HSE website to find out when a licence is not required.

Apply or renew

You can apply for a new explosives storage licence or renew an existing licence using the same form.

Before you start, you'll need:

  • the type and quantity (in kgs) of each type of explosive you'll be storing
  • existing licence details (including expiry date and reference number if renewing)
  • the full address of anywhere that will be used to store explosives
  • an accepted method of payment (we currently accept online payment, cheques, BACS transfer or card payment by telephone - 03000 41 41 41).

We will carry out a range of checks to ensure that you are a ‘suitable’ person to hold a licence including checking the National Anti-fraud Network , Health and Safety Executive prosecution database and local police prosecution information.

You will be sent a renewal reminder 2 - 3 weeks before your current licence or registration expires.

Apply or renew an existing licence


Read about our fees for fireworks and explosives.

Who needs a licence

You must be licensed if you sell or store:

  • cartridges for nail guns
  • cartridges for vehicle airbags
  • fireworks
  • flares and smoke signals
  • small arms cartridges.