Peter J. Starley

Warwickshire RFD 156
Black Powder

Gun Powders, Black Powders,
Nitro Propellants And All Reloading Materials

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Explosive Documentation Guidelines

If you wish to load and shoot a Black Powder gun of any sort then you must first obtain a COER 3 - Certificate to Acquire and Keep Explosives. This form is available from your local Constabulary and is currently free of charge. This Certificate lasts for three years. The maximum allowance for personal usage is currently 15 kilo's. The UN numbers relating to Black Powder are UN 0027 & UN 0028.

Prior to obtaining an Explosive Certificate it is possible for you to shoot a Black Powder gun if it is loaded by someone who has an Explosive Certificate ie. for training purposes, subject to you having the correct documentation and being a member of the club.

From the 26th April 2005, and under the provisions of the Manufacture & Storage of Explosive Regulations 2005, with effect from Grant or Renewal of your Explosives Certificate, containers of Black Powder must be kept in a box constructed of 18mm plywood. Where a box holds more than one container, each individual container must be separated by a 6mm wooden partition that is securely fixed to the outer walls of the box. Each compartment must allow 30% additional height between the top of the container and the inside of the lid.

A text only verion of The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (SI Number 2005/1082) is available on-line from the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI). A print version is also available and is published by The Stationery Office Limited as the The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005, ISBN 0110727649.

An Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance has been published by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and can be ordered direct from the HSE or via The Stationery Office. (Title: Manufacture and storage of explosives. Subtitle: Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance. ISBN: 0717628167. Price: £20.95). See also the Explosives - Shooting and Historical Re-enactment pages on the HSE web site.

When you have obtained an Explosive Certificate to Acquire & Keep explosives this entitles you to buy (subject to a minimum age of 16 years old) and to store explosives. THIS DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO TRANSPORT EXPLOSIVES.

To allow you to transport explosives you must now obtain a POMSTER document. This stands for The Placing On the Market and Supervision of Transfers of Explosives Regulations 1993 or is more commonly known as a Recipient Competent Authority Transfer Document (RCA).

With effect from the 1st June 2012 the Recipient Competent Authority Document is included on the reverse of your Explosive Certificate so there is no longer any need to apply for a separate document. Until you renew your Explosives Certificate which contains the integral RCA Document you still require a separate RCA.

To obtain an RCA Document you must first obtain your Explosive Certificate and then send this with a covering letter (sample) to:

Explosives Inspectorate
1.2 Redgrave Court
Merton Rd
L20 7HS

Tel 0151 951 3775

You can also fax your Certificate and letter on: 0151 951 3891

The HSE are usually very good and will send your RCA Document by return. Again this is currently free of charge. You RCA Document will always be co-terminus with your Explosive Certificate. More informtion can be found at

Once you have obtained your Explosive Certificate and RCA Document you will then be able to acquire, transport and store explosives. You will need this documentation with you when you purchase black powder as the supplier will need to see them. You must also carry the documents with you when in possession of Black Powder.

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