Importing solid ammonium nitrate at 500kg or more

Regulations to reduce the risk posed by the production, importation and storage of ammonium nitrate.


Ammonium nitrate is a highly dangerous chemical compound. It forms the basis of most fertilisers, and quarrying or mining explosives.

Ammonium nitrate is a controlled good subject to special health and environmental controls. There are specific Customs Procedure Codes to follow, and additional boxes that must be completed on the Simplified Frontier Declaration (SFD).

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures when importing ammonium nitrate

Authorised Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) traders can import consignments of ammonium nitrate weighing less than 500 kilograms through the Simplified Declaration Procedure (SDP).

CFSP traders need SDP authorisation to import controlled goods. Existing CFSP traders need to ensure that SDP authorisation is obtained if it’s not already held. Entry in Declarant’s Records (EIDR) cannot be used to declare these goods. For more information, see form C&E48 simplified procedures application or read Notice 760 on Customs Freight Simplified Procedures.  

Before importation, a Health and Safety exemption certificate or Detonation Resistance Test (DRT) certificate must be obtained. These certificates must accompany commodities within chapter 28 or chapter 31 of the Trade Tariff.

The Simplified Frontier Declaration when importing ammonium nitrate

To import solid ammonium nitrate weighing 500 kilograms or more, CFSP traders must complete a Simplified Frontier Declaration (SFD). This must be done at the time of import and identify the consignment as controlled goods. This enables checks to be carried out at the frontier.

Border admissibility controls can only take place if a hard copy of the SFD is presented to customs before clearance. Goods must not be removed until all controls and examinations have been carried out. Presentation is made by sending a copy of the SFD to the National Clearance Hub (NCH), who will validate the declaration and if all is correct, release the consignment.

The acceptance date and time of the SFD establishes the:

  • base date for the submission of the supplementary declaration import
  • tax point for goods not entered to a customs warehouse

Actions by the NCH when importing ammonium nitrate

For items covered by chapter 28 of the Trade Tariff, the NCH will check for the presence of a valid exemption certificate issued by the Health & Safety Executive.

A copy of the exemption certificate should be sent with the SFD to the NCH. The goods will be released if a valid exemption certificate is presented.

If a valid exemption certificate is not attached, the goods will not be released and the Trading Standards Office (TSO) will be contacted.

When products are covered by chapter 31 of the Trade Tariff, the NCH will check for the presence of one of the following:

  • a valid exemption certificate
  • a guaranteed true copy of a DRT certificate - which must be issued in English, by a competent authority

A copy of the exemption or DRT certificate should be sent with the SFD to the NCH.

Where a valid certificate is not produced, the goods will not be released and the TSO will be contacted.

If a DRT is presented, the NCH will:

  • notify the appropriate TSO - by phone - of the arrival of the consignment
  • confirm the details in writing - by fax or email
  • ask the TSO to reply within 2 hours of receipt of arrival notification - to confirm whether it intends to inspect or sample the goods
Published 8 August 2012
Last updated 5 April 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updates made to reflect changes resulting from the introduction of the Union Customs Code.

  2. First published.