Transfer of explosives in Finland and the European Economic Area

In order to transfer explosives in Finland or between Finland and one of the countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), you need a document authorising the transfer from Tukes, i.e. a transfer document. The recipient of the explosives must apply to Tukes for a transfer document and send a copy of the transfer document to the sender of the explosives. The transfer document must be delivered to the sender of the explosives before the transfer.

The recipient of explosives must also have a transfer document in case they collect the explosives themselves.

Tukes issues transfer documents to economic operators in the field of explosives

  • with a right to procure explosives in accordance with the Act on the Safe Handling and Storage of Dangerous Chemicals and Explosives and
  • whose registered line of business or auxiliary line of business is linked to explosives
  • that have submitted a notification to Tukes for registration.

A fee is charged on the transfer document in accordance with Tukes’ price list.

In accordance with the Act on the Safe Handling and Storage of Dangerous Chemicals and Explosives, parties authorised to procure explosives include:

  • Parties with a licence to manufacture explosives
  • Parties with a licence to store explosives
  • Parties with other right to store explosives in connection with sale, such as a licence to sell cartridges for firearms in accordance with the Firearms Act
  • A company carrying out blasting and excavation that employs a blaster responsible for the explosives with a valid blaster’s licence

The registration notification submitted to Tukes must provide the information mentioned in the form to be filled in for a transfer in Finland or in the EEA. Such information includes the business ID of the economic operator, which is also required form a private blaster offering blasting services. A transfer document can only be granted to a natural or legal person operating in the field of explosives in Finland, whose registered line of business or auxiliary line of business is linked to explosives.

The transfer document must be presented to Tukes and the police upon request.

Transfer documents are used to prove the legality of the lot of explosives in one’s possession in connection with transfer, warehousing and storage. The transfer of explosives usually includes transport. The transfer documents do not replace the transport documents required by the regulations on the transport of dangerous substances.

Explosives exempt from the transfer regulations

The regulations on the transfer of explosives do not apply to pyrotechnic equipment, cartridges for firearms, gunpowder acquired with a permit for the possession of a firearm, or the explosives intended for use by the Finnish Defence Forces, the Border Guard or the police.

Transfer of explosives in Finland

The transfer of explosives from one location to another in Finland requires submitting a notification to Tukes. You can submit the notification by using the registration notification form.

In the registration notification, the party applying for a transfer document states their contact information and a clarification on their right to procure explosives. For example, a copy of a valid blaster’s licence is proof of the right to procure explosives.

The transfer document requirement does not apply to transfers within a factory area, storage area or worksite.

The transfer document is valid for five years, unless there is a specific reason to set a different period. If the blaster’s certificate of qualification of a private entrepreneur will expire in less than five years, the transfer document is drawn up to end at the same time as the certificate of qualification. If the blaster acting as the responsible person for the company is replaced during the transfer document’s period of validity, Tukes must be notified about the new responsible person and their qualifications as soon as possible. You can submit your notification by e-mail at kirjaamo (at) tukes.fi. Attach a copy of the certificate of qualification of the new responsible person to the e-mail.

Transferring explosives between Finland and an EEA country (old, paper-based procedure)

Transferring explosives within the European Union requires the recipient of explosives to have an international transfer document for explosives. The transfer must be approved by the competent authorities of the receiving country, the transit countries and the country of origin. Tukes can grant a transfer document for a single transfer or multiple transfers. The transfer document is granted for a fixed period, and it is valid for 2 years at maximum. When a transfer of explosives ends in Finland, the recipient of the explosives submits a transfer notification to Tukes with the transfer document form. The notification must include the following information:

Names and addresses of the sender and recipient of the explosives and the parties organising the transfer

  • Amounts of the explosives
  • The trade names, descriptions, purposes of use and UN numbers of the explosives
  • Information on the conformity of the explosives to requirements, if the explosives are handed over for distribution or use for the first time within the European Economic Area
  • The transport method and route and the border crossing points within the European Economic Area
  • Whether there is a single transfer or multiple transfers
  • The desired period of validity; the maximum is 2 years from approval

The form ‘Räjähdystarvikkeiden kuljetus yhteisössä’ (Intra-Community transfer of explosives), required for use in the EU, is used for the registration notification of an international transfer. The EU has set certain technical requirements on the form, which is why the form on Tukes’s website cannot be downloaded for the electronic processing of the notification. You can order the Word template from Tukes. The form template can be filled in on the computer. Send the completed form to Tukes by email, or if that is not possible, as a letter.

When importing explosives into Finland, the importer must deliver a transfer document marked with Tukes’s approval to the sender before the transfer. The transfer document means that the explosive in question can be imported into Finland. The authority in the country of dispatch also marks the form with its approval to permit the transfer of the explosives from the country.

If the transfer of explosives in connection with import or export takes place through other EEA countries, the approval of the competent authorities in all transit countries must be obtained for the transfer. During the transfer, the transfer document must be presented to the authority in the country in question upon request.

When the transfer of explosives starts in Finland and ends in a county outside the European Economic Area, or if the explosives arrive in Finland without passing through the European Economic Area, an application for a transfer document must be submitted to Tukes for the transfer. The transfer document being applied for concerns the section of the transfer that takes place in Finland.

Transferring explosives between Finland and an EEA country (new electronic procedure)

SCEPYLT (Explosives Control and Protection System to Prevent and Fight against Terrorism), the electronic transfer document system for explosives, was deployed in Finland in January 2020. The system replaces the old international transfer of explosives document on paper in cases, in which the transfer of explosives takes place completely within the area of the countries that have joined the system. Otherwise, the old transfer procedure is used.

The SCEPYLT transfer document procedure can be used only if the transfer of explosives takes place within the following countries:

  • Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Finland. The impact of Brexit must be taken into account with regard to the United Kingdom.

In the electronic transfer document procedure, the recipient of the consignment of explosives uses the transfer document form to submit the same information about the transfer as before to the competent authority of the recipient’s country by post or email. If the transfer ends in Finland, the recipient in Finland can request a Word template from Tukes to be filled in on the computer. The completed form template must be sent back to Tukes either by email, or if that is not possible, as a letter.

After this, the authority enters the information to the SCEPYLT system and starts the approval by the authorities of the countries related to the transfer of explosives.

The authority in the country of dispatch prints out the transfer document and sends it to the recipient. The original printout from the authority must accompany the transfers (no copies); therefore, special attention must be paid to how the document is stored.

Obligation to keep records

If you hand over explosives to other parties, you must keep a record.

A company or person authorised to manufacture, store, use, transfer or sell explosives, i.e. an explosives company, must maintain a file concerning the transfer of explosives that states at least the following information:

  • the explosives that have arrived and the names of their senders
  • the explosives sent, the names of their recipients and the transfer document numbers
  • the explosives in storage
  • the explosives used in the party’s own operations.

The file must be kept for at least three years from the end of the calendar year, during which the transfer occurred. If necessary, the file must be presented to the supervisory authority.

The Government Decree on Monitoring the Manufacturing and Storage of Explosives includes more detailed provisions on the records of an explosives company.

Import and export licences for explosives

When explosives are imported from a country outside the EEA, an application for an import licence must be submitted to Tukes in accordance with the Act on the Safe Handling and Storage of Dangerous Chemicals and Explosives. In addition, a transfer document related to the transfer of explosives is required. The Government Decree on Monitoring the Manufacturing and Storage of Explosives provides for the issues stated in the application for an import licence.

There is no export licence procedure for the export of explosives intended for civilian use, when the export destination is a country within or outside the EEA.

The procedures referred to in the Act on the Export and Transit of Defence Materiel (242/90) apply to the export of explosives intended for military use. The competent authority concerning the export of such explosives is the Ministry of Defence. The transfer document procedures do not apply to explosives intended for use by the Finnish Defence Forces.

Contact information

You can find more information about the regulations on the transfer and import of explosives from Tukes’s Products unit. You can also order the templates required for the international transfer of explosives from the unit.