Explosives applications

Information on how to apply for explosive certificates.

The following legislation has been repealed:

  • Control of Explosives Regulations 1991 (COER)
  • Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (MSER)
  • The Placing on the Market and Supervision of Transfers of Explosives Regulations 1993 (POMSTER)

The old legislation has (with some modifications) been replaced by one act The Explosives Regulations 2014. This act came into force on the 1st October 2014.

Explosive Certificates

The two main types of explosive certificates are:

Acquire Only

This allows you to acquire a defined amount of explosives from an approved supplier and use it on that day.

Any unused explosive must either be returned to the supplier or destroyed in an approved manner.

Acquire & Keep

This allows you to:

  • Store explosives at a location for the duration of the certificate
  • The maximum amount of explosives that may be stored will depend on the nature of the explosives and the construction of the store.
  • A Registered Competent Authority document (RCA) allowing you to transport the explosives is issued as part of the explosive certificate.

If you are applying for the grant or renewal of a certificate you should use one of the following forms:

The ER 4 application form replaces COER1

Fill in the ER 4 application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) if you are:

  • Clubs, Societies or any body corporate or
  • The explosives are not used in firearms or shotguns
  • Individuals who are not covered by the criteria for a ER 4A

The ER 4A application form replaces COER1a 

The ER 4A application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) should be used by individuals for:

  • Their own use in their Firearms or Shotguns; or
  • The possession of shooters’ powders at re-enactment events. 

The ER 4B application form replaces COER1b

Fill in the ER 4B application form (can be completed online and then downloaded for submission) if you are renewing either of the following certificates:

  • A firearm or shotgun certificate
  • A registered firearms dealership certificate

In addition to renewing either of the following certificates:

  • an acquire only explosives certificate
  • an acquire and Keep for Black Powder certificate

For example, if you are renewing a firearm certificate and also want to renew an Acquire Only explosives certificate, you can use an ER 4B form

Explosive Store license

Fill in the ER2 application form (please download before completion and submission) which has replaced MSER 3 application for the following:

  • Applying for the storage of explosives 

Important Explosive Store license information

  • Firearm storage locations may need to be licensed in certain circumstances, depending on the amount of explosives kept and the hazard type. A fee is normally charged for licensed stores.
  • If you wish to store more than 2000kg of explosives, you should make your application to the Health and Safety Executive. 

Please return all completed forms together with the appropriate fees to:

Thames Valley Police
Firearms and Explosive Licensing Department
Police Headquarters
Oxfordshire OX5 2NX

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