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Explosives Certificates Information

Information relating to explosives and how to make an application for an explosives certificate.

Black Powder

Subject to a number of conditions, storage of black powder is permitted at home or businesses without needing a licence/registration or applying separation distances.

Storage will be in plastic/paper containers holding no more than 550 grams of powder. No metal should be used. The containers should be in a suitable storage box. Minimum requirements:

  • Constructed using 18mm ply or similar.
  • Compartment separators 6mm ply.
  • Air gap of 30% between top of powder container and top of box.
  • No bare metal on inside of box.
  • Lid to be secured and with a good seal.
  • The box must not be located under or near any means of access or escape.  It should not be in the same room as flammable liquids or in areas where there is a risk of fire.

How to buy primers for reloading and ammunition

In 2006 the Violent Crime Reduction Act introduced new rules for buying and selling primers for metallic cartridges. Anyone wishing to buy primers for home loading metallic cartridges must show a certificate authorising possession of a relevant gun or ammunition with which the primer will be used.

Anyone selling primers must check that the purchaser has a certificate. The law only applies to metallic cartridges so primers for paper or plastic shotgun cartridges are not affected.

Explosives legislation is very complex. Please do not hesitate to contact the Firearms Licensing Unit at Staffordshire Police for further advice.

Find out more information on how to transport explosives safely.

Explosives Certificate Types

There are two types of Explosives Licences:

Acquire Only:

This is issued to permit a person or company to obtain named explosives that are to be used straight away and not kept overnight. Valid for five years.

Acquire and Keep:

This is issued to allow a person or company to obtain named explosives and keep them in an approved storage place or manner. Valid for five years.

How do I apply for an explosives license?

  • Form ER4 [245kb] - For company, club or society applicants or for use other than with firearms, shotguns or as part of re-enactments.
  • Form ER4A [149kb] - For making the grant or renewal application of an individual for use with their own firearms or shotguns or as part of re-enactments.
  • Form ER4B [185kb] - Application for renewal of an explosives certificate for black powder made at the same time as making an application for the renewal of a firearms or shotgun certificate.

If you are applying on behalf of a corporate body or company then you need  Form ER2 [214kb]. Please contact the Firearms Licensing Unit for further information.

Those who apply for the grant or renewal of either explosive certificate will be visited by a firearms licensing officer in order to assess the application and give advice with regard to secure storage.

The application forms can be found below.

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the requirements of the Explosives Regulations Act 2014.

Registered Firearms Dealers should be aware that explosives stored under the Explosives Regulations Act 2014 are now licensed by the Chief Officer of Police. This activity was previously undertaken by Trading Standards or Fire and Rescue.

Registered Firearms Dealer applicants are advised to link to the Health and Safety Executive website where information and guidance is available in respect of Shooting and Selling Shooting Supplies Safely and Explosives and Shooting Supplies in Shops.

Click here to use our Step-by-Step Firearms License Guide