Explosives storage and fireworks sellers' licences

Applying to store explosives

If you want to store up to 2,000 kilograms of fireworks, you will need to apply for a licence to the Royal Borough of Greenwich. If you wish to store more, you will need to seek advice from the Health and Safety Executive and London Fire Brigade.

Read the guidance notes

Our guidance on storing and selling fireworks summarises the legal requirements of the Explosives Regulations 2014 that you must follow. Other guidance is available from the Health and Safety Executive website.

Application fees

The fee will depend on the type of licence and amount of explosives you plan to store: 

Application fees for explosives licences
Type of explosives licence Fee (under 250kg) Fee (250kg to 2,000kg)
Renewal of storage licence £54 £86
New storage licence £109 £185
All year fireworks sellers' licence £500 £500

How to apply

To apply, return the following to the Trading Standards and Licensing team:

  • a completed explosives storage licence application form (ER1)
  • a cheque payable to 'Royal Borough of Greenwich' with the appropriate fee.

Download the application form for an explosives storage licence (ER1)

What happens next? 

If we are satisfied with your application, we will register you. We will not normally visit your premises before granting a registration.

This registration runs until 30 September of each year, so you need to renew every year if you want to continue to sell fireworks (unless you have a two year registration).

Selling fireworks all your round

Generally, you can only sell fireworks to the public during the following designated periods:

  • 15 October to 10 November
  • 26 December to 31 December
  • on the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately preceding it, and
  • on the day of Diwali and the three days immediately preceding it.

However, if you want to sell fireworks at any other time, you need to obtain an annual fireworks sellers' licence from us. This is in addition to the storage licence.

Sale of fireworks

There are also legal requirements for the sale of fireworks. These include the following:

  • fireworks may not be sold to any person under the age of 18 years
  • fireworks cannot be sold in the street or in any public place
  • the name and address on any fireworks, when received from the manufacturer, must not be removed or altered
  • Bengal matches are not fireworks and must not be kept with fireworks
  • amorces (paper caps), throwdowns and sparklers are fireworks and must be sold and stored as such.

Offences and penalties

It is an offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to sell fireworks by retail without a licence or to store unsafely. The maximum penalty is a fine and 12 months imprisonment.

If you are found guilty of an offence connected with the unsafe storage of explosives, the court may in some circumstances impose an unlimited fine or term of imprisonment.

The maximum penalty is a fine and three months imprisonment for supplying a:

  • category F2 or F3 firework to any person under 18
  • category F1 firework to any person under 16
  • Christmas cracker to any person under 12.


Our Trading Standards team carries out rigorous enforcement of these laws particularly during the designated fireworks selling period.

This includes carrying out under age test purchases, as it is an offence to sell a firework to anyone apparently under the age of 18 years.

We may also revoke explosives licences when necessary.

Firework Safety from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Contact Trading Standards about fireworks licences

020 8921 8223