Hartlepool Borough Council

Fireworks & Explosives

Explosive Regulations 2014

Photo of Fireworks

The new Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER 2014) came into force on 1 October 2014 and has replaced the Manufacturer Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (MSER).

ER 2014 consolidates and therefore revokes a number of existing explosives regulations.  It brings together the requirements of health and safety related explosives legislation into a framework based around common topics such as authorisation, safety, security and placing on the market.  As a result of the consolidation the Approved Code of Practice to the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (L139) has been withdrawn.  Guidance relating to the security of explosives (HSE Circular 1/2005), and guidance on the placing of civil use explosives on the market (L66) have also been withdrawn. 

A copy of the new ER 2014 can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk

The main changes to the regulatory framework include:

  • Merging registrations into the licensing system
  • Allowing local authorities to issue licences up to 5 years, aligning them with equivalent HSE/police-issued licences
  • Extending licensing to address storage of ammonium nitrate blasting intermediate (ANBI)
  • Exceptions for keeping higher hazard and desensitised explosives without a licence have been updated
  • Tables of separation distances have been restructured to better allow for sites with more than one store; the tables have also been revised to cover quantities of explosives greater than 2000kg
  • A revised list of explosives that can be acquired or acquired and kept without an explosives certificate from the police
  • The repeal of the Fireworks Act 1951, as its remaining provisions have been superseded by the Pyrotechnic (Safety) Regulations 2010 can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk 

The Explosives Regulations is supported by two overarching guidance documents L150 the safety of explosives and L151 the security of explosives.

Do I need a Licence?

A Licence is required if storing:

  • Up to 250kg of Hazard Type 4 explosives
  • Up to 100kg of a combination of Hazard Type 3 and 4 explosives
  • Up to 100kg of Hazard Type 3 explosives

This includes both the amount held on a shop floor sales area as well as in stock rooms or storage areas.  If you would like to store larger quantities of explosives, over 250kg of Hazard Type 4 (or over 100kg of Hazard Type 3) you need a licence.

If you store less than 5kg of explosives, then there is no need to be licensed.  In the case of fireworks, most for retail sale are Hazard Type 4, but some may be Hazard Type 3 (usually marked 1.3G).  If you are storing any Hazard Type 3 explosives your entire stock should be treated as such and therefore no more than a maximum 100kg can be stored.  However if you are then storing more than 25kg, you are also subject to separation distances from other buildings, accommodation or public areas.

The quantities are often marked on the outer packaging but if you are in any doubt as to the Hazard Type or NEQ you should seek advice from your supplier, as responsibility to store in a safe manner and within permitted quantities rests with the licence holder.

Applying for a Licence

If you intend to store/supply between 5kg-250kg net of explosives (e.g. fireworks) you will need to apply for a 'Storage Licence'.

Should you wish to supply or expose for sale fireworks outside of the dates below, you must also hold (in addition to your Storage Licence) a 'Fireworks Licence' granted by this licensing authority.

  1. 15 October to 10 November
  2. 26 December to 31 December
  3. Chinese New Year (on the first day of the Chinese New Year and three days immediately preceding it)
  4. Diwali (on the first day of Diwali and three days immediately preceding it)

Please contact the Licensing Team for more information.

Address: Civic Centre, Victoria Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY

Tel: 01429 523354

Email: licensing@hartlepool.gov.uk

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Telephone: 01429 266522

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