Under the Explosives Regulations (2014), anyone wishing to store small quantities of explosives (including retailers selling fireworks) within their premises are required to hold a storage licence issued by the Council.
There are only certain times at which fireworks can be sold:
- Bonfire Night - 15 October to 10 November
- New Year's Eve - 26 December to 31 December
- Chinese New Year - on the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days preceding it
- Diwali - on the day of Diwali and the three days preceding it.
Businesses that wish to store and sell fireworks all year round (outside the above dates) will have to apply for an additional licence called an annual supply licence.
Length of licence
Applicants for seasonal storage licences can apply for licences between 1 and 5 years in length. Annual supply licences last for one year. Generally we will only issue one year duration licences to new retailers with no inspection or enforcement history. If you wish to apply for a two, three, four, or five year licence, please note that we will take a proportionate, risk-based approach to your application that recognises the nature of your business and the likely lifetime of the licensed site eg pop up shops, freehold retail.
Factors that we will consider:
- new retailer with no inspection or enforcement history - we will consider extending the period of your licence at renewal
- new site where the duty holder can demonstrate robust safety management systems and/or has a good history of compliance at another licensed site - we will expect to grant the licence for the period requested by the applicant (up to the five year maximum)
- existing site with a mixed or poor history of compliance (but where the site and person remains fit) - we will consider granting a licence for a short period
- site with history of regularly requiring advice, where minor breaches have been identified at inspection, or that has, for example, a high (relevant) staff turnover - we will consider granting the licence for a period of less than five years
How to apply
Application forms are issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who also provide information and guidance on how to apply. You should post or email your application to the Licensing Team. The fee can be paid over the phone by calling 0208 770 5000 or online.
Once a completed application form and the correct fee have been received, we will examine the information provided and contact applicants to arrange an inspection where required.
If you are applying for the first time we will visit you before your licence is granted to assess how you plan to store the explosives both on and off the shop floor.