Explosives Regulations 2014 (Amendment) Regulations 2016 – updated guidance

The Explosives Regulations 2014 (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (ERAR2016) came into force in Great Britain (GB) on 20th April 2016 and implement the recast of the civil use explosives directive.  Equivalent requirements will come into force in Northern Ireland in due course.

ERAR2016 amends and updates the requirements for making civil use explosives available on the EU market and must be read alongside the Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER2014).

The civil use explosives directive is one of 9 directives that have been updated, or ‘recast’ as part of a package known as the new legislative framework (NLF). The NLF aims to improve market surveillance requirements across a range of products on the single market. The recast pyrotechnics directive Description: link to external website has already been transposed into GB law through the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 Description: link to external website.

Some of the main changes between the requirements in ER 2014 and ERAR2016 include:

  • Clearly defined legal duties for all economic operators (manufacturers (their authorised representatives), importers and distributors) involved in the supply chain.
  • Clearly defined legal duties for Market Surveillance Authorities (MSAs), such as HSE, in terms of their cooperation with other member states.
  • MSAs, such as HSE, can require corrective action to be taken by economic operators, or commensurate with any risk, can require economic operators to withdraw or recall conforming civil use explosives from the market.
  • Civil use explosives placed on the market must now be accompanied by instructions and safety information, in a language which is easily understood by consumers and end-users. In the UK, this information must be in English.
  • Record keeping duties have now been widened – manufacturers (their authorised representatives) and importers are required to keep a copy of the EU declaration of conformity and technical documentation, in a readable format, at the disposal of the MSA for 10 years.
  • Explicitly brings commercial ‘own use’ of explosives within the scope of conformity assessment.
  • Non-compliance is now explicitly considered as both administrative (i.e. no CE mark applied) and safety based.
  • Makes accreditation the key route for Notified Bodies.

The regulations are supported by a suite of overarching and subsector guidance.

Further information

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BDC 305 Jun 2023