Recipient Competent Authority (RCA)

When an explosives certificate is granted or renewed the RCA text will be included on the back of the certificate. There is no need to apply to the HSE for the document.

When an explosives certificate is a re-printed replacement (for example, when needing to be replaced due to loss or inadvertent destruction, or on change of address) the reprinted certificate will again have the text on the reverse. However, it will be necessary to apply to the HSE for an RCA document in cases where the replacement is for a certificate which did not have the RCA text on the reverse.

Applications to the HSE for an RCA document.

Send or fax a copy of your explosives certificate, including page two if the explosives authorised are on the back of the certificate, together with one of the following:

  • The renewal application form that was included with your first RCA document, or
  • A copy of your existing RCA document, or
  • A letter asking for renewal.

Things to watch out for:

  • In many cases the format of the explosives certificate has the UN numbers and descriptions of the explosives authorised on pages 2 and 3.  Please ensure that you send a copy of all pages of the certificate to the HSE when applying for an RCA document.
  • HSE does not require original explosives certificates; they will only deal with copies.
  • HSE is happy for applications to be submitted via email but in the majority of cases the security markings on explosives certificate render them illegible when scanned; the HSE then has to request a further submission via fax or post.
  • HSE undertakes to send an RCA document with 10 working days (but they have been known to arrive much sooner)
  • Some HSE application forms have old telephone and fax numbers.  Please use those from the HSE website.


Explosives Licensing team
Firearms and Explosives Licensing Unit
Devon & Cornwall Police
Middlemoor, Exeter
Tel: 01392 226221

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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