Last reviewed 4 January 2022

The Home Office has launched a public consultation on proposals to strengthen the controls in place for purchasing explosives precursors and poisons under the Poisons Act 1972.

Following the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, the Government committed to enhance its capabilities to detect terrorist activity involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive material and their precursors, as well as improving the control and safeguarding of these substances.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The Government already has robust controls in place for the sale of explosive substances and a strict licensing regime for the most dangerous chemicals. However, the recent attack in Liverpool was a stark reminder of how terrorists seek to do us harm.”

The consultation, which is open for comments until 10 March 2022 and available at, includes options to improve the suspicious activity reporting regime, introduce additional obligations on online marketplaces and improve processes to verify professional users.

The Government is also considering adding further substances to the lists of reportable and regulated precursors and poisons as well as introducing upper concentration limits to be applied to Explosives Precursors and Poisons Licences that are issued to members of the public.

Shops and businesses are already required to report any suspicious transactions and to report any significant losses or thefts.