Apply to store fireworks or explosives

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 October
  • 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 first 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. Alternatively you can download the form

Submit the application by email to:

The fee can be paid by debit or credit card. We will telephone you to take the payment.

The fee is set by law and can be found in the Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2016 Schedule 7, part 2

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.

Age Restrictions and other responsibilities

for more information on supplying fireworks, including the categories and age restrictions please visit  The Business Companion