In most cases where an individual or business is acquiring, keeping, transferring, storing or manufacturing explosives, an explosives licence is required from the relevant authority. Across the West Midlands, we are responsible for granting an explosive licence.

A fire safety officer inspects premises before assessing an explosives licence application.What is an Explosives Licence?

An explosives licence is a document that allows the holder to store and/or manufacture explosives. The holder of an explosives licence is the person that makes sure its conditions are being met.

The easiest way to apply for an explosive licence is to complete our online form. If you’re applying for the first time for your premises, part of the process includes an inspection by one of our officers. Our guidance notes answer some of the most frequently asked questions, so please read them thoroughly before you start to apply.

You should only use this form if you want to store less than 2000kg of explosives, and it should not be used to to store the explosives listed in Note 1 of the guidance notes.

Further information is available from the Health and Safety Executive website. For queries, e-mail

Apply Online


Explosive Licence Charges

New licences

Under 250kg nec 1 year £109
Above £250kg nec 1 year £185

Renewal licences

Under 250kg nec 1 year £54
Above 250kg nec 1 year £86

Please contact a member of our Administration Team if you have any further questions on 0121 380 6100


We no longer accept cheques or cash as payment for an explosives licence.

Online Bank Transfer

Bank: National Westminster Bank Plc
Account number: 69624186
Sort code: 60-15-39
Account name: West Midlands Fire & Rescue Authority
Reference: Renewal = ‘EXP-A01123456’, new licence = ‘EXP-NEW’ followed by first line of address

Credit or Debit Card

You can use credit and debit cards to pay via PayPal using the online system. You do not need to have a PayPal account to make your payment. We are unable to accept payments over the telephone.

Guidance Notes

It’s your responsibility to ensure you’re aware of, and comply with, the Explosives Regulations 2014. As the local licensing authority for explosive licences, we have the power to stop the storage of explosives at a site should it no longer be suitable. We can also take enforcement action where the terms of an explosives licence are not being met.

For those supplying fireworks outside the normal permitted periods, you’ll also need to make a separate application for a licence to comply with the Fireworks Regulations 2004. This doesn’t apply if you’re selling around New Year, Chinese New Year, October 15th-November 10th and Diwali.

General Information

  1. This form should not be used for an application for a licence to store the explosives listed below:

– relevant explosives
– ammunition the acquisition of which is regulated or prohibited by virtue of the Firearms Acts 1968 to 1997
– smokeless powder or percussion caps
– explosives stored by a person who is registered as a firearms dealer under section 33 of the Firearms Act 1968

If you want to store the explosives listed above, you should use form ER2

  1. Only use this form you want to store less than 2000kg of explosives. For any premises that need to store more than 2000kg of explosives, you should apply to the Health and Safety Executive for a licence.
  2. Feel free to continue onto a separate sheet(s) or document(s) if there isn’t enough room. If you do use additional sheets, remember to put your name and address at the top of each page.
  3. You do not need to include previous convictions that are ‘spent’ as per the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Where the application involves a corporate body or company, the convictions of all directors should be listed. Information on how we consider the relevance of previous convictions to an application for a licence is on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Separation distances

  1. Depending on how much explosive material you plan on storing, you may also need to maintain ‘separation distances.’ Further information on separation distances in available in Regulation 27 of the Explosives Regulations 2014. Normally, if you’re storing less than the following quantities on one site you won’t be expected to maintain separation distances: HT1 or HT2- 0.1kg; HT3 (or a combination of HT3 and HT4) – 25kg; HT4 – 250kg. Not sure about whether you need separation distances? Get in touch and we can advise you.

Accompanying Documents

  1. You should include a plan to a scale that suitably shows the location of your site in relation to its surroundings. If your site doesn’t have a postal address, the scale should normally be a minimum of 1:25000.
  2. Where stores are identified as needing to maintain separation distances, you should also include an Ordnance Survey site plan (or similar.) This should include the location of the store and distances to any neighbouring buildings. The plan should show any areas where you intend to process or manufacture explosives where a licence for those activities is not required under regulation 6 of ER2014. The scale will depend on the separation distance. For a distance of up to 200 metres, a 1:1250 would normally be required while greater distance would require a 1:2500 or even a SuperPlan. Where this plan clearly identifies the location of the site in relation to its surroundings it can be substituted for the plan referred to in 6 above.
  3. Where applicants are planning to store or display more than 12.5kg of fireworks on a shop floor, you’ll need to include a floor plan of the sales area.
  4. If you intend to store, process or manufacture explosives within a building that is also used for other purposes you should include a floor plan showing the places within the building where you intend storing, processing or manufacturing the explosives.
  5. Don’t forget to make your payment after submitting the application and plans.

Hazard type and quantity

  1. As part of the application, we need to know the hazard type and quantity of the explosives you wish to store. Contact your supplier if you’re not sure about the hazard types of explosives you wish to store.
  2. ‘Quantity’ refers to the net mass of explosives, i.e. the weight without packing, casing, etc.

Data protection and accuracy

  1. The information you supply may be stored electronically, and where appropriate be shared with other relevant bodies. Any information gathered may constitute ‘personal data’ as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998. Personal data is processed according to the requirements of the Act. Should you wish to, you’re able to request a copy of any personal information and have any inaccuracies corrected.
  2. It is an offence under Section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to provide false information. Incomplete or inaccurate information could also result in delays to your application being processed.