From the 1 December 2021 we have adopted the Institute of Licensing "Safe and Suitable" as the criminal record policy for the whole of the Dorset Council area, which has recently been out to consultation.

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

We licence and inspect premises that store up to 2000kg of explosives which do not require an explosives certificate (including fireworks and small arms ammunition).

Amounts that don't require a licence

If you store less than 5kg of explosives that don't require an explosives certificate or less than 15kg of small arms ammunition, you don't need to be licensed. Certain exemptions apply to the short-term storage of fireworks, please contact us. 

Storing between 5kg and 2,000kg

If you wish to store between 5kg and 2,000kg (Net Explosive Quantity NEQ) you will require an explosive licence.

How to apply

Licences are valid for up to 5 years and are not transferable from one person to another. Please see our current Trading Standards fees.

Download the Explosive Licence application (form ER1) to apply.

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 the 15 October to 10 November
  • from 26 December 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. This licence costs £500.

Contact Trading Standards to apply for this additional license.


Health and Safety Executive have further guidance if you have any questions.

Alternatively please contact Trading Standards on 01305 224702.

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