Airbags and seat belt tensioners

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

With more new cars now being fitted with air bags and seat belt pre-tensioners as standard, the need for garages and car dealerships to carry spares and replacements for them is also increasing.

The devices used to inflate air bags and seat belt pre-tensioners are classified as explosives and must be stored in accordance with certain legal requirements. This applies both to the complete modules and inflator assemblies.

However, The Explosives Regulations 2014 do not require premises to be licensed to store air bags and seat belt pre-tensioners as long as less than 5 kg NEQ (net explosive quantity) is kept. As a guide, one of these items has a NEQ of approximately 0.1 kg, which equates to around 50 units being stored before registration/licensing is required. If in any doubt you should check the NEQ of individual devices with your supplier.

If you do exceed the 5 kg NEQ then you will need to license your storage. A Lower Tier licence allows for up to 250 kg NEQ, an Upper Tier license up to 2000 kg NEQ. If you feel you need to be registered or licensed please contact this Service.