It is unlawful to store and sell explosives / fireworks without a licence in excess of certain quantities.

Under the Explosives Regulations 2014, we are responsible for the licensing of persons who store up to 2,000kg of explosives / fireworks at premises within Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Rutland.

We issue two types of licence:

  • A storage licence which allows retailers to sell only during the permitted periods
  • An all-year round sales licence for businesses that want to sell outside of the permitted periods

We can only licence those storing up to 2000kg of explosives / fireworks.

If you need to store more than 2000kg of explosives / fireworks, you need to apply for a licence from the Health and Safety Executive.

We also licence premises such as agricultural merchants who stock bird scaring pyrotechnics.

Visit the Health and Safety Executive website for guidance on explosives.

Licence eligibility

When you apply for a licence, we will:

  • Decide if you, as the applicant, are a fit and proper person to hold a licence, taking account of any previous convictions
  • Check the suitability of safety and security measures, often by a pre-licensing inspection

Licence fees

Visit our Trading Standards fees and charges page to find out how much your licence costs.

How to apply for a licence from Trading Standards

To apply, you need to print the application form, complete by hand and post to us at the following address:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards
PO Box 450
Great Cambourne
CB23 6ZR

Please include a cheque and make it payable to ‘Peterborough City Council’. They administer the licensing function on our behalf. 

What you need to provide with your application

You will need to provide us with:

  • Company number if a limited company (Ltd)
  • National Insurance number if an individual
  • Category of fireworks you’re storing and the weight
  • Site plan
  • Building floor plan

What happens after you apply

We will process your application. As part of that, one of our officers will carry out an inspection at your premises. Once the officer is happy that you have the correct measures in place, we will issue the licence.

How long it takes to receive a licence

The length of time it takes us to issue a licence depends on completion of form, payment confirmation and officer capacity.

How long the licence lasts and what you do with it

  • A storage licence can last for one, two, three, four or five years
  • A sales licence is annual

You must make your licence available to an inspector upon request.

You must renew your licence before it expires.

Report concerns about safe storage or sale of explosives and fireworks

If you have non-urgent concerns about the safe storage or sale of explosives or fireworks, or the sale of them to underage children, please report to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service.

If the concern is urgent and you believe there is imminent danger, please call 999.