Fireworks and explosives licence

If you intend to store fireworks or sell them to consumers, you must obtain a licence.

In this section:

What you need to know

Licences are for a person and not the premises.

What you need to know

The Health and Safety Executive have published comprehensive guidance on the safe storage of explosives and of fireworks. There is also additional information on the separation distance requirements when storing explosives.

The licence will require the store to be separated from other buildings and places where the public have access.

Most small retailers elect to have the smaller licence and only large retailers and wholesalers elect to have the licence for larger quantities.

If you wish to store two tonnes or more of explosive you will need a licence from Health and Safety Executive.


If you store less than 5kg (NEM) of explosives including fireworks, and other pyrotechnics, then there is no need to be licensed. If all that is stored is cartridges, you can keep up to 25kg (NEM) without a licence (approximately 100,000 cartridges). Even if you are exempt, you must still comply with the safety requirements in the regulations concerning fire prevention and control.

Annual fireworks licence

If you intend to sell fireworks all year round, you must also obtain an annual fireworks licence. This will be in addition to your storage licence. A premises is required to have a storage licence in place before an annual fireworks licence can be granted.

If you do not have an annual fireworks licence, you can only sell fireworks at the following times:

  • between 15 October and 10 November
  • between 26 and 31 December
  • first day of Chinese New Year and the 3 days prior
  • Diwali and the 3 days prior.

Application to sell fireworks all year

Page last updated: 20 Jul 2023