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Licensing of explosives

Explosives covered under the Explosives Regulations 2014 can be used for commercial or leisure purposes. If you want to acquire or keep any explosive, you must first apply for an appropriate certificate.

You must be able to provide good reason for acquiring or keeping any explosive material. For example, to use for re-enactments of historical battles or caving activities.

Types of certificates 

Acquire Only 

If you want permission to obtain explosives which are to be used and not kept or stored overnight, you will need an Acquire Only certificate. The certificate is issued for up to five years.

We will visit you to ensure you fulfil the criteria for a ‘fit and responsible person’ before an Acquire only certificate is granted.

Acquire and Keep

If you want permission to obtain explosives and keep them in an approved place of storage, you will need an Acquire and Keep certificate. This certificate is issued for up to five years.

We will visit you and inspect the storage to ensure it meets the legal requirements before an Acquire and Keep certificate is granted.

Apply for an explosives certificate

To apply for the grant or renewal of an explosives certificate, use one of the following forms. If you are unsure which of the forms to use, contact Firearms Licensing.

Explosives Certificate – Form ER4
  • For companies, clubs and societies, powder masters or users
  • Not applicable for personally held firearms and shotguns, or historic re-enactment

You must give good reason to support your application. If you have not provided enough detail, we will ask you for more information before a certificate is granted.

Apply for an Explosives Certificate – Form ER4 (PDF)

Explosives Certificate – Form ER4a
  • For individuals wishing to use black powder in their own firearms or shotguns, or for historic re-enactment events
  • Use this form for an ‘acquire only’ or an ‘acquire and keep’ certificate for black powder
  • Not applicable to clubs, societies, or organisations or for any explosive other than black powder
  •  You must give good reason to support your application. If you have not provided enough detail, we will ask you for more information before a certificate is granted.

Apply for an Explosives Certificate – Form ER4a (PDF)

Renewal of an Explosives Certificate – Form ER4b
  • Should be used when renewing an explosives certificate at the same time as a firearm or shotgun certificate

Applications for renewal should be submitted 12 weeks before your expiry date.

Apply for a renewal of an Explosives Certificate for Blackpowder – Form ER4b (PDF)

To report a change of address on your explosives certificate, or find out more information on the licensing of explosives, contact Firearms Licensing.

Fees

View firearms certificate and permit fees.

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