New control measures for sales of explosives precursors and poisons under the Poisons Act 1972

From October 1st 2023, The Control of Poisons and Explosives Precursors Regulations 2023 introduced new substances to the lists of regulated explosives precursors and poisons. New regulations were also introduced to create a cohesive regime that controls the sales of explosives precursors and poisons.

What this means for you as a customer and us as a business:

  • Members of the public who want to import, acquire, possess or use regulated chemicals must hold an Explosives Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence issued by the Home Office and an associated photographic identity document. When placing new orders for these products you may be asked to provide a declaration and ID for suppliers to hold on record for regulatory traceability, and then be asked to renew this declaration annually.
  • Businesses supplying regulated explosives precursors to professional users and other businesses (i.e., those who don’t need a licence) will need to take additional steps to verify the legitimacy of the professional user or business.

This includes the buyer presenting the following to the seller, when purchasing:

  • The business customer’s name and address. If the business customer is not an individual, the name of an individual who is authorised on behalf of the business customer should be recorded.
  • A form of photographic identification of the business customer or, if the business customer is not an individual, of the individual making the purchase.
  • A statement of the nature of the business customer’s trade, business or profession, or of the public function that the business customer performs;
  • The business customer’s VAT registration number, if the business customer has such a number.

In addition to the above if you are a member of the public and not an organisation you must also present:

  • The valid Explosives Precursors and Poisons (EPP) licence


Any suspicious transactions or attempted transactions (business to consumer and business to business) of regulated substances and reportable substances must be reported.

Following the government’s guidance, these declarations of use will last for a year. At this point, a new declaration of use will have to be completed.



The following substances were added to the list of regulated explosives precursors and poisons and offences relating to the acquisition, importation, supply, possession and use of the following substances was effective from 1 October:

  • hexamine
  • hydrochloric acid above 10% w/w
  • phosphoric acid above 30% w/w
  • ammonium nitrate above 16% nitrogen
  • aluminium sulfide, sodium sulfide, calcium sulfide and magnesium sulfide
  • arsenic compounds (specifically, calcium arsenites, copper acetoarsenite, copper arsenates,lead arsenates)
  • mercury compounds (mercuric chloride, mercuric iodide, organic compounds of mercury except compounds that contain a methyl group directly linked to the mercury atom)
  • zinc phosphide
  • calcium phosphide
  • 2,4-Dinitrophenol


View the full list of substances at the link below. We supply various products included across all four lists. An item with a concentration of the listed substances threshold is still deemed to be a reportable substance.

Supplying explosives precursors and poisons – GOV.UK (

If you have any questions regarding the purchase of explosive precursors and poisons or would like to learn more about the new change to the regulations, please feel free to speak to our team who are always happy to help.