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Explosives (fireworks) registration/licence

Explosives (fireworks) registration or licence

If you manufacture or store explosives such as fireworks at premises in the City of London, you may require a registration certificate or licence from the licensing authority.

Most small retailers find that the provisions for registered premises are sufficient for the level of stock they keep. See eligibility criteria below for more information on storage quantities.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guide for storing and selling fireworks safely

Retailers must display a poster stating that fireworks must not be sold to under 18s. Copies of the poster can be downloaded from the government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Additional information for suppliers and retailers of fireworks and display event organisers is available on the GOV.UK  website and on the HSE website

If you would like more advice about a licence or registration, please contact the licensing team by phone on 020 7332 3406 or by email at licensing@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Completed applications should be returned to:

City of London Licensing Team
Markets and Consumer Protection
PO Box 270
Guildhall
London
EC2P 2EJ

Eligibility criteria

​Manufacture and storage of explosives registration certificate or licence

There are no restrictions on who may apply for a registration certificate or licence to manufacture or store explosives (including fireworks). However, any applicant will be evaluated to establish if they are fit and proper to be registered or licensed by the authority. The proposed site for manufacture or storage will also be assessed for suitability.

The maximum quantities that can be stored under a registration certificate are:

  • 30 kg of explosives of any hazard type; or
  • 100 kg of hazard type 3 explosives; or
  • 100 kg of a combination of hazard type 3 explosives with explosives of hazard type 4; or
  • 250 kg of hazard type 4 explosives; or
  • 250 kg of small arms ammunition and percussion caps and 30 kg of shooter's powder.

A licence will be required for storing larger quantities of explosives than those permitted under a registration certificate.

If you want to store quantities of over 2 tonnes of explosives you will require a licence from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Further information on this licence is available via the explosives licensing section of the HSE website

If you intend to store fireworks or other explosives that total less than 5kg of explosives there is no need to register with the licensing authority. There are further exemptions set out in paragraph 10 of The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005.

Please note that you will require a storage registration certificate if you wish to supply fireworks during the following restricted periods:

  • on the first day of Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding it
  • on the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it
  • during the period beginning on 15 October and ending on the 10 November or
  • during the period beginning on 26 December and ending on the 31 December.

If you wish to supply fireworks at any other time, you will need to apply for a fireworks supply licence.

Fireworks supply licence

Any of the following may apply for a licence to supply fireworks.

  • applicants who are 18 years of age; or over
  • applicants who hold either a licence under section 5 of the Explosives Act 1875(a) or a registration in accordance with section 21 of the Explosives Act 1875.

Regulation summary

​You can view regulations applicable to the supply of fireworks and the manufacture or storage of explosives on the government's Legislation website:

Application evaluation process

​Applications must be sent to the Licensing Authority for the area where the premises are located. Applications must be in a specific format and be accompanied by the required fee. Please contact the licensing team on 020 7332 3406 for the current registration or licence fee.

Registration certificate or licence to manufacture or store explosives

The Licensing Authority will grant a licence to manufacture or store explosives unless:

  • the proposed site or any place in the site where the manufacture or storage of explosives is proposed to take place is unsuitable for manufacturing or storing the explosives; or
  • the applicant is not a fit person to store or manufacture explosives.

Where the Licensing Authority determines to refuse a licence or registration to manufacture or store explosives, it will notify the applicant.

Licence to supply fireworks

The Licensing Authority will grant the application unless the applicant has committed an offence under one of the following:

  • section 11 of the Fireworks Act 2003
  • sections 4, 5 or 32 of the Explosives Act 1875
  • section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 arising from a contravention of the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997
  • the use, storage or keeping of fireworks under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The Licensing Authority will inform the applicant of its decision to grant or refuse the application.

Will tacit consent apply?

​No. If an application is opposed it is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the licensing authority within a reasonable period, please contact us.​


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