ERAR 2016 came into force on 20 April 2016 implementing Directive 2014/28/EU relating to explosives for civil uses.

The directive concerning civil use of explosives is one of nine directives which 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.

Here are some of the main changes between the requirements in Explosives Regulations 2014 and ERAR 2016:

  • clearly defined legal duties for all economic operators (manufacturers or 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 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 increased – manufacturers (or 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
  • the revised regulations explicitly bring commercial ‘own use’ of explosives within the scope of conformity assessment
  • non-compliance is now explicitly considered as both administrative (ie 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.