Advice & Guidance - Explosives

Explosives are dealt with in the Firearms Licensing Department by 2 designated Explosives Liaison Officers who have the powers of an Inspector appointed under the Health & Safety Executive.

The licensing and certification of explosives is dealt with by the Control of Explosives Regulations 1991 (COER) and the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations (MSER) 2005

Control of Explosive Regulations 1991:

These regulations relate to the person(s) acquiring or keeping explosives.

They:

  • Require any person or company who acquires or keeps explosives other than those listed in Schedule 1 COER (as amended), to hold an explosives certificate issued by the Chief Officer of Police. (Schedule 1 can be found on the HSE website)
  • Impose restrictions on persons involved in the transfer of explosives
  • Prohibit a person who has committed certain offences or who has been sentenced to specific terms of imprisonment, custody or detention, from acquiring, keeping, handling or controlling explosives or any restricted substance
  • Forbid an employer from knowingly employing a prohibited person in a position where he/she handles or has control of explosives or any restricted substance
  • Restrict the types and quantities of explosives which may be kept without the need for a Licence under the MSER
  • Require occupiers of licensed explosive factories and magazine to appoint one person responsible for security of explosives
  • Require a person who acquires possession of or keeps explosives, to make and maintain an up to date record containing specific information. This does not apply to “unlicensed use”. For further information on this requirement, please contact our Explosives Liaison Officers on: (01495) 745 493, mobile: (07967) 035 097 or (01495) 745 495, mobile: (07697) 035 341
  • Impose requirements for reporting the loss of explosives, including theft, to the police

There are two types of certificates issued under COER:

  • Acquire Only – This is issued to permit a person or company, to obtain explosives which are to be used straight away, and not kept overnight
  • Acquire and Keep – This is issued to allow a person or company to obtain explosives and keep them in an approved storage place. Approved under Manufacture and Storage of Explosives regulations 2005

The main users of explosives and therefore those who require the issue of a certificate are:

  • Sporting/Social use – This may seem an unusual term to use, but it does suitably describe persons using gunpowder for shooting purposes, such as muzzle-loading handguns and rifles, or events where re-enactments of historical battles involve the use of muzzle-loading muskets and cannon
  • Special Effects Companies
  • Mines and Quarries – These locations often use explosives to break up rock and displace large quantities of earth
  • Demolition – The quantities of explosive used on this type of operation vary, depending on the size, construction and location, of the building to be demolished

Applying for an Explosives Certificate:

All applications must be submitted to the police using forms:

  • COER 1 – For Company/Club/Society applicants, or use other than Firearms/Shotguns/Re-enactment
  • COER 1A – For individual applicants only (Firearms/Shotguns/Re-enactment)
  • COER 1B – Renewals for individual applicants only (Firearms/Shotguns/Re-enactment)

These forms can be found on the Online Forms page or by contacting the Firearms Licensing Department direct using the contact details provided on this website.

Those who apply for the grant of an explosives certificate to Acquire and Keep will be visited by an Explosives Liaison Officer in order to assess the application and give advice with regard to the secure storage of the explosives.

In the main, most applications will relate to the "unlicensed" social use provision.

Please note that an Acquire Only certificate is issued for a maximum period of 12 months and an Acquire & Keep certificate can be issued for a period up to three years.

There is no charge for this service (provided it is for "unlicensed use") but we would ask that all renewal applications are submitted up to 30 days before the existing certificate expires.

Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005:

These regulations relate to the place of manufacture and/or storage of explosives.

Applying for an Explosives Licence / Registration of Premises:

The Health & Safety Executive deal with all applications for Manufacturing plants, factories and stores holding more than two tonnes/2,000 kilos or in smaller cases where an exemption is required.

The Local Authority deal with all applications for explosives storage for explosives listed in Schedule 1 of Control of Explosives Regulations 1991 (as amended) (for example fireworks) up to two tonnes.

The Police are the Licensing Authority for all other explosives not mentioned in Schedule 1 COER up to two tonnes.

Fees for COER and MSER can be obtained from the HSE web site:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/information/fees.htm

All applications must be submitted to the Police using the correct application form.

These may be obtained from the Firearms Licensing Department (or downloaded from the Online Forms section of this website). There are fees for licences issued under MSER, which can be found on the HSE website as above. There are also fees for the required checks, so before submitting an application, please ensure that you have completed the correct form and that you have included the correct fee.

The Health & Safety Executive deal with all applications for Manufacturing plants, factories and stores holding more than two tonnes/2,000 kilos or in smaller cases where an exemption is required.

The Local Authority deal with all applications for explosives storage for explosives listed in Schedule 1 of Control of Explosives Regulations 1991 (as amended) (for example fireworks) up to two tonnes.

The Police are the Licensing Authority for all other explosives not mentioned in Schedule 1 COER up to two tonnes.

Fees for COER and MSER can be obtained from the HSE web site:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/information/fees.htm

All applications must be submitted to the Police using the correct application form.

These may be obtained from the Firearms Licensing Department (or downloaded from the Online Forms section of this website). There are fees for licences issued under MSER, which can be found on the HSE website as above. There are also fees for the required checks, so before submitting an application, please ensure that you have completed the correct form and that you have included the correct fee.

Appropriate Safety Measures (MSER 2005 REG 4) extract:

Any person who manufactures or stores explosives shall take appropriate measures to prevent fire or explosion, to limit the extent of fire or explosion including measures to prevent the spreading of fires and the communication of explosions from one location to another and to protect person(s) from the effect of fire or explosions.

These pages are a very brief explanation of the regulations covering explosives. For further information please contact your local Explosive Liaison Officer of visit the HSE website above.