Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland
1996 No. 262
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The Marking of Plastic Explosive for Detection Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996
7th June 1996
To be laid before Parliament
Coming into operation
or on a day to be notified in the Belfast Gazette whichever is the earlier
31st July 1997
The Secretary of State, in pursuance of Articles 17(1) and (2) and 55(2) of, and paragraph 1(1)(b) of Schedule 3 to, the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978(1) as applied and modified by Article 53 of that Order and after consulting, in accordance with Article 46 of that Order as so applied and modified, the Health and Safety Agency for Northern Ireland and such other bodies as appeared to him to be appropriate, hereby makes the following regulations:
Citation and Commencment
1. These regulations may be cited as the Marking of Plastic Explosive for Detection Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 and shall come into operation on 31st July 1997 or on the day on which the Convention enters into operation for the United Kingdom (such date to be notified by the Secretary of State in the Belfast Gazette) whichever is the earlier.
2.—(1) In these Regulations,
“authorised military device” means an explosive article, including but not limited to a shell, bomb, projectile, mine, missile, rocket, shaped charge, grenade, or perforator, which, in any case, is manufactured solely for lawful military or police purposes;
“the Convention” means the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, done at Montreal on 1st March 1991;
“detection agent” means a substance named in column 1 of the Table in Part II of the Schedule;
“explosive” shall be construed in accordance with Part I of the Schedule;
“explosive article” and “explosive substance” have the meanings respectively assigned to them by regulation 2 of the Classification and Labelling of Explosives Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1991(2);
“manufacture” means any process, including reprocessing which produces explosives;
“marked” shall be construed in accordance with paragraph (2) of this regulation and related expressions shall be construed accordingly;
“State Party to the Convention” means any state which has deposited in accordance with Article XIII of the Convention an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Convention with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, or any other body from time to time designated the Depository under the Convention, and in respect of which a denunciation under Article XV of the Convention has not taken effect.
(2) For the purposes of these Regulations, an explosive is marked if it, or a sample of the explosive, contains a detection agent of at least the concentration specified in the corresponding entry for that detection agent in column 2 of the Table in Part II of the Schedule, whether that detection agent is introduced during the process of manufacture of the explosive for the purpose of making the explosive detectable or, as a result of the normal formulation of that explosive.
Prohibition on manufacture
3. No person shall manufacture any explosive the finished product of which is unmarked.
Prohibition on possession
4.—(1) No person shall have in his possession nor transfer possession of any unmarked explosive.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an explosive that is in the process of being manufactured.
(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply for a period of 3 years, commencing with the date of coming into operation of these Regulations, to any unmarked explosive manufactured before these Regulations come into operation.
(4) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any unmarked explosive in the possession of military or police personnel where the explosive is incorporated as an integral part of an authorised military device before the date which is 3 years after the date of coming into force of these Regulations.
(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), paragraph (1) shall not apply for a period of 15 years, commencing with the date of coming into operation of these Regulations, to any unmarked explosive which—
(a)was manufactured before these Regulations came into operation;
(b)does not fall within paragraph (4); and
(c)is in the possession of the authorities of a State Party to the Convention for military or police purposes.
5.—(1) No person shall import any unmarked explosive into the United Kingdom.
(2) Paragraph (1) of this regulation shall not apply for a period of 15 years, commencing with the date of coming into operation of these Regulations, to any unmarked explosive manufactured before these Regulations come into operation, imported by the authorities of a State Party to the Convention for military or police purposes.
6. The Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary shall be the enforcing authority for these Regulations.
P. B. B. Mayhew
One of Her Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State
Northern Ireland Office
7th June 1996
Part IMeaning of “Explosive”
1. For the purposes of these Regulations “explosive” means an explosive substance, commonly known as a “plastic explosive”, including such substance in flexible or elastic sheet form and whether or not contained in an explosive article, which is—
(a)formulated with one or more high explosives which in their pure form have a vapour pressure less than 10 −4 Pa at a temperature of 25°C;
(b)formulated with a binder material; and
(c)malleable or flexible at normal room temperature.
2. The following explosives, even though meeting the description of explosives in paragraph 1 of this Part, shall not be considered to be explosives for the purposes of these Regulations as long as their manufacture or possession continues to be to a quantity and for a purpose specified in any of the sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) of this paragraph or they continue to satisfy the description specified in sub-paragraph (d) of this paragraph, namely any explosive—
(a)the manufacture or possession of which is to a quantity no greater than is necesssary for the purpose of and is solely for use in lawful research, development or testing of new or modified explosives;
(b)the manufacture or possession of which is to a quantity no greater than is necessary for the purpose of and is solely for use in lawful training in explosives detection or development or testing of explosives detection equipment;
(c)the manufacture or possession of which is to a quantity no greater than is necessary for the purpose and is solely for the purpose of lawful forensic science; or
(d)which is manufactured in the United Kingdom and destined to be incorporated as an integral part of an authorised military device in the United Kingdom before the date which is 3 years after the coming into operation of these Regulations.
3. In this Part “high explosives” include but are not restricted to cyclotetramethylenetranitramine (HMX), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) and cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX).
Part IIDetection Agents
Name of detection agent
Ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN)
0.2% by mass
2, 3-Dimethyl-2, 3-dinitrobutane (DMNB)
0.1% by mass
0.5% by mass
0.5% by mass
(This note is not part of the Regulations.)
1. These Regulations implement the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, done at Montreal on 1st March 1991. They make provision for ensuring that plastic explosives are marked in such a way that they are detectable.
2. Regulation 2 provides that a marked explosive is one which contains a detection agent. Regulation 2 and Schedule 1 further provide for the definition of “explosive” and the type and concentration of detection agent which must be contained in an explosive in order for that explosive to be marked.
3. Regulation 3 prohibits the manufacture of any explosive, the finished product of which is unmarked.
4. Regulation 4 prohibits the possession and transfer of possession of an unmarked explosive save where the explosive is in the process of being manufactured. There is transitional provision for persons who possess or transfer unmarked explosives manufactured before the Regulations come into force for a period of 3 years after that date.
5. Regulation 5 prohibits the importation of unmarked explosives.
S.I. 1978/1039 (N.I. 9)
S.R. 1991 No. 516