These details are what UKRA currently understands to be correct however we have not had these checked by a lawyer or the HSE.

Summary of the situation
After years of discussions between UKRA and the HSE, most rocketeers now require very little paperwork. All model, mid and even some smaller high powered engines can now be purchased without an Explosives License, just an RCA is required for transportation purposes.

Rocketeers who wish to purchase larger motors (from about mid K) or store a large amount of motors or black powder, or those not on the list of exempted motors will still require paperwork.

The law in summary states that any person over the age of 18 is allowed to purchase and store a combined total of 5kg of explosives if that explosive is contained within a list of exemptions and each motor being less than 1Kg net propellant. Please note that with regard rocket motors the weight is the net propellant weight and not the gross weight which will include packaging. If you do not know the net propellant weight, then the law states that you must assume one quarter of the product weight is propellant.

If you do not meet the criteria above then you will need to get an Explosives License and an RCA. You will need to fill in an COER form which you can obtain by contacting your local police firearms division, once you have your Explosive license you can then fax it to the HSE to get the appropriate RCA.

An RCA is also required for those who will be transporting motors covered by the exemptions (i.e. between your home and the launches). The HSE prepared a template letter in Word format for Rocketeers to apply to move their model rocket motors. The completed letter can be sent by email to or by post to the address on the letter.

The letter includes all the information for the exempted motors and also includes UN numbers for other common items that are exempt from the need for an explosives license e.g. quickmatch, igniters, Estes motors and PIC.

Data Retention Policy

In order to provide an efficient and accurate service to members, the United Kingdom Rocketry Association (UKRA) maintains an increasing proportion of its information about members in electronic formats. In keeping with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998, UKRA is required to have a policy on how this information is maintained and used.