Explosives information bulletin no. 10 | 31 August 2017 | Version 7
Authorisation of explosives and trials of unauthorised/prohibited explosives in Queensland
This bulletin is intended for anyone involved in authorising an explosive, amending an authorisation, approving or extending a trial of an unauthorised or prohibited explosive or extending the life of an out of specification explosive.
It does not apply to licences or permits to import, export, manufacture, sell or use explosives, or other activities involving explosives.
Find out more about explosives in Queensland.
You may also refer to:
- Explosives Act 1999
- Explosives Regulation 2017
- List of authorised explosives
- Information Bulletin 37 Regulatory and security assessment fees
- Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods Manual of tests and criteria, 5th revised edition (TDG)
- Australian code for the transport of explosives by road and rail, 3rd edition (AEC3)
- Australian code for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail, 7th edition (ADG7).
To apply for authorisation of an explosive, amendment of an authorised explosive, trial of an unauthorised/prohibited explosive or extension of trial of an unauthorised/prohibited explosive, see the How to apply section of this publication.
Important points to note
- Sections 8 and 12 of the Explosives Act 1999 stipulate that explosives must be either authorised or approved for trial by the Chief Inspector of Explosives. Sections 11 to 18 of the Explosives Regulation 2017 provide further detail regarding authorisation or trial approval of an explosive.
- All explosives—including blasting explosives, detonators, propellant powders, marine distress signals and safety fuses—are not permitted to be imported, brought into, manufactured, transported, stored, kept, used, sold or supplied in Queensland, unless they have been authorised or trialled. The granting of an authorisation or trial applies to the explosive only. The person conducting activities with explosives must have an appropriate licence or permit. A trial is limited to the applicant.
- An explosive is an unauthorised explosive when it:
- Has not been declared as an authorised explosive under the Act (i.e. is not declared to be authorised by the Chief Inspector and has not been included in the register of authorised explosives—see List of authorised explosives)
- Differs in composition, quality or character (whether by deterioration or otherwise) from the composition, quality and character defined for the explosive that is declared an authorised explosive by the Chief Inspector (i.e. out of specification).
If a product that was authorised becomes unauthorised (i.e. out of specification) refer below for the process required to authorise the explosive.
Note: An explosive is authorised when the name printed on the outer packaging and /or explosive article of the explosive is the same name as listed in the register of authorised explosives (List of authorised explosives). The authorised name must be used in all associated documentation (including the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), Technical Data Sheet (TDS), import notification, consignment note and so on.) A change of authorised explosive name will require an application for a new authorisation of explosive.
- The Chief inspector has deemed explosives to be authorised that are expired beyond the authorised shelf life (which is based on the manufacturer's recommended shelf life) provided all the following criteria are met:
- There has been no change to the composition, quality or character of the explosives.
- The explosives are not more than 12 months beyond the authorised shelf life and manufacturer's recommended shelf life.
- The explosives are in good condition and order (i.e. as per the condition of the explosive at time of receipt). If the explosives are outside specification, the manufacturer or supplier must certify the product is fit for the required activity (i.e. fit for storage, transport etc).
- The explosives are in their original or approved packaging.
- The explosive are not used in a production blast and are to be disposed of as soon as practicable, within the 12 months past expiry.
- The explosives are for one or more of the following activities only: possession, transport, storage and/or disposal.
If the above criteria cannot be met, the explosive will be considered unauthorised and an application for life extension of an out-of-specification explosive must be submitted to the Explosives Inspectorate. A person must not manufacture, possess, sell, store, transport or use an unauthorised explosive under section 11 of the Act.
- Authorisation of explosives falls under five categories:
- General—explosives compositions or articles that are authorised through a request to the Chief Inspector under section 13 of the Explosives Regulation 2017. The request is carried out by completing the application form and paying the fee in accordance with Information Bulletin 37. The application form covers applying to have an explosive authorised or amending an existing authorisation.
- Permitted explosives—a special class of explosives authorised for their intended use in underground coal mines. Permitted explosives are restricted for use in underground coal mines and their use is conditional to the system for P1–P5 permitted explosives in underground coal mines.
Explosives designed for use in underground coal mines must be tested as a permitted explosive against the criteria of the UK Health and Safety Executive testing memorandum TM2 Test and approval of explosives for use in coal mines and other mines in which flammable gas may be a hazard. Within Queensland, TM2 is the only accepted specification for explosives used in underground coal mines.
In relation to their intended use, TM2 group explosives used in underground coal mines are as follows:
- P1—Single, simultaneous or delay firing in shafts and drifts.
- P3—Single, simultaneous firing undercut coal, rippings, dintings and scouring.
- P4—Primarily for delay firing in undercut coal and rippings.
- P5—Primarily for delay firing in solid coal.
Further restrictions apply to the use of permitted explosives. The maximum charge limit for a P1 or P3 permitted explosive allowed in any one shot hole shall not exceed 800g. The quantity used in a single shot hole may be increased, subject to a site-specific risk assessment, to a maximum of 1200g, provided that the shot hole is more than 1.8m in length with a minimum burden of 0.5m with at least 0.6m of stemming. For multiple shot holes, no more than 1600g of permitted explosive can be used. The maximum charge weight for a P5 permitted explosive allowed in one shot hole shall not exceed 1000g (1kg). Contact the Resources Safety & Health Queensland Mines Inspectorate and the manufacturer for further information.
- List of Authorised Commonwealth Explosives (LACE) - The List of Authorised Commonwealth Explosives (LACE) comprises articles approved by the Department of Defence and authorised by the Chief Inspector based on Department of Defence approval, as published in the LACE https://www.defence.gov.au/jcg/jlc/LACE.asp
- Generically authorised explosives—explosives compositions and articles generically authorised by the Chief Inspector. The generic list includes explosives that are widespread in use, have many manufacturers, and are available universally. The controls for these explosives are affected through the declaration of prohibited explosives under section 15 of the Regulation. Examples of generically authorised explosives are SSAN (security sensitive ammonium nitrate), ANFO (ammonium nitrate fuel oil), fireworks, distress signals, power device cartridges and small arms ammunition.
- Generic authorised explosives articles for use by law enforcement agencies - The generic authorisation of explosive articles of hazard division 1.3 and 1.4 for use by law enforcement agencies list applies to articles specifically used by law enforcement agencies such as:
- smoke signals
- signal cartridges
- pyrotechnic articles used for technical purposes
- illuminating, practice, smoke and tear producing ammunition.
Similar articles not used by law enforcement agencies must be individually authorised.
- Generically authorised explosives used in the petroleum, gas and geothermal industries—a specific list is provided for explosives that are used in petroleum, gas and geothermal operations for the purpose of well perforation or seismic exploration only. For an explosive to be accepted into this category, it must fit all the following criteria:
- Contain the proper shipping name, UN number and classification code, as listed in section 5 of Information Bulletin 71.
- Be manufactured overseas (product manufactured in Australia must be individually authorised).
- Have UN test certification to determine the classification of the explosive (e.g. 1.4B, 1.4S etc) in accordance with TDG.
- Have appropriate documentation as required for the authorisation of unauthorised or prohibited explosives, including the safety data sheet (SDS), technical data sheet (TDS), authorisation approval from other authorities (including certificate of product from overseas) and package design test certificate.
Shaped charges (proper shipping name: Charges, shaped, without detonator) are not authorised in Queensland under UN0441 of classification code 1.4S. Any shaped charge of this category imported into Queensland must be classified as UN0440 of classification code 1.4D prior to transport from the point of import.
Any explosive listed in this section is not generically authorised when used in applications other than petroleum, gas and geothermal operations.
To use any explosives not contained on the list for generic authorisation of explosives used in the petroleum, gas and geothermal operations, contact the Chief Inspector of Explosives. Explosives may be added or removed from the list at any time.
Under section 11 of the Act, unauthorised explosives or prohibited explosives cannot be manufactured, stored, kept in one's possession, transported, sold or used in Queensland unless permitted under the Act for trial, experiment or examination.
Note: An explosive may be prohibited under the Explosives Act, section 15 of the Explosives Regulation 2017 and where it is listed in schedule 1 of the Explosives Regulation 2017.
An explosives trial approval for the purposes of trial or experiment to manufacture, store, possess, transport, sell or use (all or any of these provisions) in Queensland may be granted by the Chief Inspector upon such terms and conditions as deemed advisable. Trials of unauthorised explosives are generally sought to be undertaken on various sites. When making an application, provide as much of the requested information that can be reasonably obtained and that also meets the requirements of the Chief Inspector. Pay particular attention to Sections 4, 9 and 12 of the application form.
A report of the trial must be submitted to the Chief Inspector within two months of the completion of the trial. A trial may be extended, but a progress report must be submitted before an extension is granted.
At the end of the trial, all unauthorised or prohibited explosives must be destroyed. Unauthorised and prohibited explosives can not exist legally unless they are legitimised by a trial but only for the duration of the trial.
Scheduled fees are listed in Explosives Information Bulletin 37. Fees are charged for authorisation of an explosive only.
How to apply
To declare an authorisation of an explosive, amend an authorised explosive, approve a trial of an unauthorised/prohibited explosive or extend the trial of an unauthorised/prohibited explosive, provide the Explosives Inspectorate with a completed application form. Refer to How to complete the application form for assistance in filling out the form.
If the Chief Inspector declares the explosive an authorised explosive, a notice of decision will be sent to you. If the Chief Inspector decides not to declare the explosive an authorised explosive, an information notice of the decision will be sent to you.
The Chief Inspector will enter the authorised explosive in the register of authorised explosives. This register is published as the List of Authorised Explosives and is available here.
Issued by Resources Safety & Health Queensland