Explosives and fireworks licences
If you wish to store more than 5kg (net mass) of explosives, including fireworks, you need a licence.
This licence is granted to a person, or company, for the premises at which the explosives are stored.
There are four hazard types of explosives – 1 is the most hazardous and 4 is the least hazardous. The majority of retail fireworks are classed as Hazard Type 4. The net mass of a firework is based on the explosive content less the packaging. Hazard type and net mass will be provided on manufacturer’s or supplier’s information. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are storing safely and in accordance with our guidance on Storing explosives and selling fireworks.
The requirements for the licence depend on the hazard type, and quantity of explosives stored, and on the separation distances between public places, like buildings and roads.
Storage licence fees
There are two sets of fees depending on the quantity and hazard type you intend to store. Where new applications are unsuccessful, 50% of the application fee will be retained.
If you store no more than:
- 250Kg Hazard Type 4
- 25kg Hazard Type 3 (or any combination of Hazard Type 4 or 3)
- 0.1kg Hazard Type 1 or 2.
The fees will be:
Application for a licence to store explosives where no separation distances are prescribed:
New application: £113
- One year’s duration £56
- Two year’s duration £90
- Three year’s duration £125
- Four year’s duration £158
- Five year’s duration £193
Application for a licence to store explosives where separation distances apply:
New application: £193
- One year’s duration £90
- Two year’s duration £153
- Three year’s duration £215
- Four year’s duration £277
- Five year’s duration £340
Varying a licence:
- Varying name of licensee of address of site: £38
- Any kind of variation: The reasonable cost to the licensing authority of having the work carried out
- Transfer of licence: £38
- Replacement of licence: £38
Fireworks sales licence
If you intend to sell fireworks outside the restricted dates listed below, you will also need an all year round licence.
- 15 October to 10 November
- 26 December to 31 December
- On the 1st day of the Chinese New Year and the 3 days immediately preceding it
- On the day of Diwali and the 3 days immediately preceding it
Before submitting your application, please make sure you have:
- read the guidance on the application form
- read our guidance on Storing explosives and selling fireworks
- enclosed the correct fee (cheques made payable to East Sussex County Council, payment can also be made by card)
- enclosed a floor or site plan.
Please note that you must allow a minimum of 8 weeks for a new application to be processed.
Storing more than 2,000kg of explosives, or in mines and harbour areas
You must apply for a licence from the Health and Safety Executive if you:
- store more than 2,000kg of explosives, or
- store explosives at mines or harbour areas.
Explosives requiring a licence from the police
You must apply for a licence from the police if you store:
- smokeless powder
- blasting explosives
- black powder
- anything else requiring an explosives certificate.
If you are storing these explosives in East Sussex or West Sussex, you should contact Sussex Police. For more information:
Telephone: 101 ext 544086
- Please read the guidance notes before completing this form.
- You should not use this form for an application for a licence to store the explosives listed in note1
- You should only use this form if you want to store no more than 2000kg of explosives
- See information on fees
- If there is insufficient room to provide the information requested, please continue on a separate sheet(s) (see note 2)
- Please note that it is an offence under Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to provide false information. Incomplete or inaccurate information could result in a delay in the processing of your application.
- The information contained in this form may be stored electronically. The information may, where appropriate, be shared with other relevant bodies such as other local licensing authorities or the Health and Safety Executive. You have the right to request a copy of any personal information and to have any inaccuracies corrected.
Your personal data is held by East Sussex County Council in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. For further information, please see our Privacy notice.
You must apply for a licence if you want to sell fireworks throughout the year, outside the restricted sales periods below.
A storage licence must be in place, or applied for, before a sales licence can be granted. Apply for a storage licence.
Fireworks are generally only sold to the public during the following periods:
- 15 October to 10 November.
- 26 December to 31 December.
- On the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately before it.
- On the day of Diwali and the three days immediately before it.
If you wish to sell fireworks at any other time, you must apply for a licence from Trading Standards. We recommend you allow a minimum of eight weeks for your application to be processed. The licence period runs for a year from the date of issue and the annual fee is £500.
Before you apply, read our guidance on Storing explosives and selling fireworks.
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