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Fireworks licensing

There are strict legal requirements on selling and storing fireworks.

You'll need a licence before you can sell or store fireworks. This licence allows you to sell fireworks at specific times of year. You can find out more in the 'When you can sell fireworks' section below.

If you want to sell fireworks outside of these times, you'll need an additional licence. You can find out more in the 'Licence to sell fireworks all year' section below.

Your duties

If you store fireworks for sale, you're legally required to:

  • prevent a fire or explosion
  • limit the possible extent of a fire or explosion, including measures to stop fires and explosions spreading from one location to another
  • protect people from the effects of a fire or explosion

Storing fireworks correctly is essential to meet these requirements. Guidance on safely storing and selling fireworks is available on the HSE website.

Age restrictions apply to the sale of fireworks. You're legally required to follow these rules. More information about age restrictions for selling fireworks is available on the Business Companion website.

The safety and labelling of fireworks are regulated by the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015. More information about the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015: Great Britain is available on GOV.UK.

Licence to store fireworks

If you want to store more than 2000kg net weight of fireworks, you'll need to apply to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for a licence.

If you want to store more than 5kg and less than 2000kg net weight of fireworks, you'll need to apply to us for a licence. If you want to store less than 5kg net weight, you do not need a licence.

Fees

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Licences are available from 1 to 5 years.

New licence

1 year licence - £113
2 year licence - £147
3 year licence - £181
4 year licence - £215
5 year licence - £248

Renewal

1 year licence - £56
2 year licence - £90
3 year licence - £125
4 year licence - £158
5 year licence - £193

Please note, if this is the first time that you've applied for a licence in Middlesbrough, you may only be eligible for a 1 year licence. If you've previously held a licence but the licence has expired, you'll have to pay the fee for a new licence, rather than a renewal, when you submit your application.

Varying a licence - £38

Replacement licence - £38

Apply for a licence to store fireworks

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You must have a separate licence for every premises where you want to store or sell fireworks.

Licences only apply to the person and premises stated on the licence. If you want to change any details, you must contact us to apply for a change ('variation') or transfer of your licence. You can contact us by calling 01642 726001 or emailing EHTS@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

When you apply, you'll also need to send:

  • a risk assessment for the storage of explosives
  • the site location and plans for the storage, showing separation distances from other risks
  • proof that your landlord has given permission for explosives to be stored at the site (if applicable)
  • the fee (this will vary depending on the type of premises and quantity of fireworks)

Please note, you'll need insurance to cover the storage of explosives.

What happens next

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You must wait for us to grant you a licence before storing or selling fireworks. You cannot do it without a licence.

After we've received your application and payment, we'll contact you to arrange a visit to the premises you intend to sell fireworks from. We'll look at whether your business and premises are suitable, and would meet the necessary legal requirements, for a fireworks storage licence.

You must have a separate licence for every premises where you want to store or sell fireworks, so if you're applying for multiple licences we'll have to inspect every premises.

Once we've visited your premises, we'll contact you to say whether we're granting or refusing you a fireworks storage licence.

If we grant your licence

If we grant your application, we'll send you a licence which you'll need to display in a prominent position in your premises. You must not exceed the net explosive content (NEC) stated on the licence. The licence may also contain additional conditions you'll need to follow.

If we refuse your licence

If we refuse your licence, we'll send you a letter explaining why your application was refused and how you can appeal against the decision. Your appeal (called a 'representation') must be submitted within 28 days. It should be sent to: Judith Hedgley, Head of Public Protection, Middlesbrough Council, Fountain Court, 119 Grange Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 2DT.

When you can sell fireworks

If you have a firework storage licence, you can only sell fireworks at the following times:

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

Licence to sell fireworks all year

If you want to sell fireworks outside of the times listed above, you'll need an additional licence. This is called an all-year sale of fireworks licence.

The fee for the all-year licence is £500.