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Applying for a permit for the commercial purchase and handling of explosive materials

You require a permit if you:

  • handle explosive materials commercially or
  • sell explosive materials commercially and
  • are self-employed in a                      
    • commercial company or
    • an agricultural or forestry business or
  • employ workers 

You must apply for the permit for the commercial handling or sale of explosive materials.

Holders of a permit can be both natural or legal persons (public limited companies (AG), companies with limited liability (GmbH), co-operatives, associations, states and municipalities).

Partnerships (OHG) and limited partnerships (KG and GmbH Co KG) are treated the same as legal persons and are therefore able to obtain a permit.

In case of partnerships under the German Civil Code (GbR), the permit is issued to partners who are able to represent or who have company management authorisation.
More than one partner can have company management authorisation. All persons who are responsible for business areas which concern explosive materials must be listed in a company-related permit.

They must commence the activities within six months of issue, otherwise the permit will expire. The permit will also expire if you have no longer carried out activities for more than two years The competent authorities can extend these deadlines in special cases.

Responsible department

The district police authorities

The district police authorities are as follows:

  • The city administration office in large district towns or
  • the district administration office of the place in which your business is located



The requirements are as follows:

  • Personal reliability
    As an example, this is not present if:                     
    • You have been convicted of a crime by a court in the last 10 years.
    • Facts which justify the assumption that you will use the explosive materials in an abusive or careless manner are present.
    • You were a member of an association which was incontestably banned and                     
      • a period of 10 years has not yet passed since the membership or
    • You were held in police protective custody on the orders of a judge more than once due to violent acts during the last five years. 

Tip: You can find details information concerning the necessary reliability in >§ 8a of the German Explosives Act (Sprengstoffgesetz).

  • Expertise
    The proof of the necessary expertise can be provided by means of successful participation in special courses. These must be recognised nationally or on a state level.
    You can also provide proof of expertise by means of                     
    • Practical experience for at least three years in which you can obtain the necessary expertise or
    • Completion of a higher education qualification at a university, a university of applied sciences or a technical school and practical experience for at least one year, by means of which you can acquire the necessary expertise or
    • in certain exceptional cases: Examination by an authority or attendance at a course.
      In the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Regional Council of Tübingen (Referat 54.4) is responsible for the acceptance of the examination and the recognition of courses. 

Note: The three options named above for the proof of expertise are not possible if the permit is to be issued for the performance of blasting operations or for handling of explosive materials within the framework of explosive ordnance disposal.

  • Personal suitability
    You are personally suitable if:                     
    • You are neither physically unsuitable for the work, nor
    • legally incompetent nor
    • are you dependent on alcohol or drugs or mentally ill 

Personally suitable also means that

  • there are no reasons in your person due to which                      
    • you will handle explosive materials in a manner which is not careful or proper,
    • you cannot store these safely or
    • a concrete endangerment to yourself or others exists. 

Note: These reports can be provided by public health or specialist doctors or by a specialist psychologist. You must submit these within a specified deadline. Should you refuse to submit to the examination or should you fail to submit the report on time, the authorities can decide that you are unsuitable

  • Age: at least 21 years

Please note: These requirements apply to

  • you as the applicant
  • persons who are engaged in the management of the company and
  • persons who are engaged in the management of a branch office or a dependent local office. 

The above-mentioned requirements of specialist knowledge, personal suitability and age do not apply to you as the applicant if the management of the handling and traffic with explosive substances is entrusted to a competent manager. The prerequisites also do not apply to persons in the function of company or branch management if the management of the handling and traffic with explosive substances has been assigned to a competent manager within the company or branch.

Nationality and place of residence
The same requirements as for German citizens or for applicants with a commercial branch office in Germany apply to:

  • citizens of a member state of the European Union (EU) and
  • the companies which were incorporated in accordance with the legal regulations of another member state of the EU. 


You must apply for the permit. Please contact the competent body for this purpose.

Depending on the services offered by the city or the district office, the application form is available for downloading.

Should the competent body not provide a form, you can use the form "application for the granting of a permit in accordance with § 7 of the German Explosives Act (Sprengstoffgesetz)" which is provided by the Ministry of the Environment. You may also need to fill in the attached "supplementary sheet A". Please submit the completed application to the competent body.

The authorities will check compliance with the requirements on the basis of the submitted documents. In addition, they must obtain statements from other authorities (for example the local police department or the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in relation to personal suitability) and can request a report.

The permit can be restricted in terms of contents or may come with conditions attached. By means of this, life and health, as well as material goods of employees and third parties should be protected. Conditions may also be subsequently added to or amended. Normally, you will receive a permit of unlimited duration. However, in certain cases, this may be for a fixed term

Required documents

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of the identity card or comparable identity documents
  • For proof of personal reliability:
  • For proof of the corporate legal form:
    • In case of the business being located in Germany:
      • In case of a business entered in the register: Extract from the Commercial Register and the partnership register
      • Otherwise, a copy of the articles of association (for example in case of a partnership under the German Civil Code - GbR)
    • In case of the business being located abroad: Documents from the relevant country which prove the legal form.
  • Proof of expertise (for example certificates from courses attended or proof concerning employment) for the persons who wish to personally deal with explosive materials.
  • In order to check personal reliability, the competent body can request further documents.
  • In case of residency abroad, you require documents from your home country which prove your personal reliability.
  • In case of legal persons (GmbH, company, AG, registered co-operative), you must merely fill in the application form for the legal person itself. You must submit all personal documents for all natural persons who are authorised to run the business (for example personal papers). In addition, you also require an extract from the central business register for the legal person.
  • Business partnerships ( KG, OHG, PartG, GmbH & Co. KG) are treated equally here.
  • A GbR is not capable of obtaining a permit as such. Therefore, each managing partner requires a licence. You must submit a complete application and all personal documents for each of these persons.


  • Framework fee: 102.26 to 2,812.11 euros or
  • charge in accordance with the fees statute of the communes concerning explosives laws if available


You may carry out the activities which are covered by the permit. Should you carry out the following activities, you are obliged to participate in nationally recognised refresher courses every five years:

  • Carrying out of blasting operations,
  • Manufacturing explosive materials,
  • Working in explosive ordnance disposal,
  • Promotion of explosive materials in accordance with the regulations concerning hazardous goods,
  • Burning of large fireworks,
  • Demonstration of effects in theatres or comparable buildings with pyrotechnical objects, pyrotechnical compositions or other explosive materials.

The authorities will carry out a renewed checks of the permit holder every five years for reliability and personal suitability.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Umweltministerium released it on 21.04.2021. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.


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