Who needs a licence?

Who needs a licence? 

If you are planning to store more than 5kg NEC (Net Explosive Content) and less than 2000kg NEC of explosives then you will need to apply for a storage licence from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

When can I sell fireworks?

You can only sell fireworks during the following periods, unless you hold a Firework All Year Round Selling Licence:

  • On the first day of the Chinese New Year and the three days immediately before it
  • On the day of Diwali and the three days immediately before it
  • During the period October 15 to November 10
  • During the period December 26 to December 31

If you wish to sell fireworks outside the above defined selling periods then you will need an ‘All Year Round’ selling licence in addition to the explosives storage licence. It is an offence under the Fireworks Regulations 2004 to sell outside these periods without a selling licence and you may be prosecuted.

To apply for an ‘All Year Round‘ selling licence you need to contact fireworks@manchesterfire.gov.uk or telephone 0161 608 4040 and request an application form. The cost of the annual licence is £500.

Definitions of explosives and fireworks

Explosives (including fireworks, pyrotechnics and small arms ammunition) are fully defined in the Explosives Regulations 2014 (also known as ER14).

Fireworks are explosive articles with UN numbers 0333 to 0337 and are defined under the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 as 'pyrotechnic articles for entertainment purposes'. 

Legislation and guidance

ER14 is supported by a suite of subsector guidance produced by the Health and Safety Executive. The guidance consists of two main documents: 

Additional safety guidance can be found in these documents:

The Health and Safety Executive website provides an overview of ER14, as well as related Frequently Asked Questions