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Fireworks licensing

The storage of fireworks is regulated by the Explosives Regulations 2014. To store fireworks at any time, you need to apply for an explosives storage licence.

If you want to store more than 5kg and less than 2000kg net weight of fireworks you'll need to apply for a licence. For quantities above 2000kg net weight, you'll need to apply to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for a licence.

You are committing an offence if you store and/or sell fireworks without a licence.

If you wish to apply for a licence to store and sell fireworks, please download and complete the firework storage application.

You'll also need to provide the following with your application:

  • A risk assessment for the storage of explosives

  • Site location and plans of the storage, showing separation distances from other risks

  • Proof of authorisation from your landlord (if applicable) that explosives may be stored at the site

  • The required fee. These vary according to the type of premises and quantity, however, for a retail premises a new licence for one year is £105 and a renewal of a licence is £52. A full list of fees is available from the HSE.

Please note, you should have insurance to cover the storage of explosives.

You must also have a separate licence for every premises where you wish to store explosives or show fireworks for sale.

The approval of a licence to store or sell fireworks is not automatic, and will depend upon the approval of the inspector who will contact you and carry out site visits. Any licence will be granted subject to the limits of the net explosive content (NEC) mentioned on the licence. The licence may also contain additional conditions.

Licences only apply to the person and premises mentioned on the licence. If you want to change any details you must contact the council and apply for a variation or transfer of your licence as appropriate.

Fireworks duty of care

If you store fireworks for sale it is your legal duty to:

  • Prevent a fire or explosion

  • Limit the possible extent of fire or explosion, including measures to prevent the spreading of fires and explosions from one location to another

  • Protect people from the effects of a fire or explosion

You must show understanding of the guidance given in the 2014 regulations relating to separation distances of fireworks from other potential risks. It's your responsibility to ensure that you're aware of, and complying with, the regulations covering the storage of fireworks or explosives. The council may take enforcement action if you aren't storing these goods safely.

The HSE website offers guidance on the legislation and requirements of the storage, sale and risk assessment in relation to fireworks and explosives.

Selling fireworks all year

You can only sell fireworks during the following periods:

  • 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

  • During the period 15 October to 10 November

  • During the period 26 December to 31 December

If you want to sell fireworks outside of these periods, you'll need an additional licence under the Fireworks Regulations 2004. To apply for the all year licence please download and complete the all year sale of fireworks application. The fee for the all year licence is £500. 

Returning applications

Please return applications to:

Environmental Health and Trading Standards Section
Improving Public Health Service
PO Box 502
Vancouver House
Gurney Street

Cheques should be made payable to Middlesbrough Borough Council