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Explosives licensing for Dorset businesses

Any person planning to keep explosives such as fireworks or vehicle airbag detonators is required by law to have a current licence.

We license and inspect premises that store up to 2,000kg of explosives which do not require a explosives certificate including fireworks.

Amounts that do not require a licence

If you store less than 5kg of explosives that do not require an explosives certificate or less than 15kg of small arms ammunition, then you do not need to be licensed. Certain exemptions apply to the short term storage of fireworks, please contact us for more information.

Storing between 5kg and 2000kg

If you wish to store between 5kg and 2000kg (Net Explosive Quantity) you will require an explosive licence.

How much will it cost?

Licences are valid for up to five years and are not transferable from one person to another. The current fees are:

Explosives Licence fees - storage of up to 2,000kg NEQ


New application


One year£109£54
Two year£141£86
Three year£173£120
Four year£206£152
Five year£238£185

Explosives Licence fees - storage of explosives subject to separation distances


New application


One year£185£86
Two years£243£147
Three years£304£206
Four years£374£266
Five years£423£326

Other fees

  1. Varying name of licence or address of site - £36
  2. Any other kind of variation - reasonable cost of having the work carried out
  3. Transfer of licence/Replacement of licence - £36

To apply download an Explosives Licence Application Form (pdf, 48kb) (opens in a new window).

Selling fireworks to the public

Fireworks may only be sold at certain times of the year:

  • The first day of the Chinese New Year and 3 days immediately before it
  • The day of Diwali and the 3 days immediately before it
  • From 15 October to 10 November and From 26 to 31 December

If you want to sell fireworks outside of these times you will need an additional licence for each premises at which fireworks are supplied or exposed for supply (Premises Licence): this licence costs £500 to apply you can download an application. (PDF, 18kb) (opens in a new window).

Further guidance

If you have any questions or require further guidance see the HSE - Fireworks in retail premises (opens in a new window) webpage.

Alternatively please contact our business advice line on 01305 224702 if you would like to discuss your application with us.

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