You can't apply for this licence online. Contact your local council.


You need a licence to manufacture explosives, including fireworks, in Northern Ireland.

How to apply

Contact the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) for an application form.

Northern Ireland Office
Telephone: 028 9052 0700
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You will only be granted a licence if the place in which explosives are proposed to be manufactured is suitable, and if you are a fit person to manufacture explosives.

You may be charged a fee to apply.


You may not need a licence for:

  • manufacturing 100 grams or less of explosives for laboratory analysis, testing, demonstration or experimentation
  • manufacturing certain ammunitions to be used at historical re-enactment events
  • preparing and assembling of fireworks at the place of intended use
  • preparing and assembling of explosives for use in theatrical, television or cinematic special effects
  • mixing for immediate use of certain substances at a mine or quarry, to produce an explosive which is not cap-sensitive
  • using desensitised explosives in the manufacture of products which are not in themselves explosive


Your licence may have conditions added about the:

  • specifications of your site
  • places within your site where explosives may be manufactured
  • maximum quantity of explosives which may be manufactured or present at any one time

If you manufacture explosives, you must:

  • take steps to prevent fires and explosions, and protect people from the effects of fire or explosion
  • separate buildings with explosives from inhabited buildings

If you dispose of explosives, or decontaminate explosive-contaminated items, you must ensure this is done safely.

You must not allow anyone under the age of 16 years to work in your manufacturing business. Someone aged 16 or 17 years old may work in your business if they are being supervised.

If your licence is revoked, you must ensure that:

  • all explosives are removed from the site as soon as is practicable
  • those explosives are deposited at a site which is licensed or registered for such storage, or are suitably disposed of
  • the licence or certificate of registration is returned to NIO within 28 days of being revoked