Ammonium nitrate can be used as fertilizer or as an explosive.

Ammonium nitrate sold for use as fertilizer is the same substance as ammonium nitrate sold as an explosive. In Australia, 95% of ammonium nitrate is used as an explosive in the mining industry and 5% as a fertilizer, mainly by horticulturalists.

Background information on security sensitive ammonium nitrate

Licence conditions

Ammonium nitrate blends containing greater than 45% ammonium nitrate will require a licence if you are involved in any of the following activities:

  • import/export
  • manufacture
  • acquisition/disposal
  • storage
  • use
  • transport
  • supply.

These ammonium nitrate blends are known as security sensitive ammonium nitrate (SSAN).

Liquid fertilisers are not regulated, regardless of the amount of ammonium nitrate contained.

Licences will only be granted for use in or supply to mining and agriculture. Ammonium nitrate is not available for use in the home or recreational facilities which includes parks, gardens, golf courses and bowling greens.

Licence conditions for security sensitive ammonium nitrate

Security clearance

As part of the licence application you must have:

Anyone working for you who has unsupervised access to SSAN will also need to undergo a security check and be listed on your security plan. Staff who have access to SSAN under your supervision or under someone listed on your security plan will not need to undergo a security check.

Storage

In order to get a licence you will need to develop a security plan which outlines how you will keep the SSAN secure.

All SSANs need to be under constant supervision or lock and key (similar to the level of security required to store other dangerous chemicals). The level of security needs to be such that you will be able to know if you have been broken into and how much SSAN has been taken.

Safe storage and handling of ammonium nitrate

Additional licences

If you have a licence issued under the Explosives Act for SSAN, you will not need a separate licence under the Dangerous Substances Act, for example, for a driver or vehicle to transport dangerous goods in bulk.

If you intend to use SSAN to manufacture an explosive, for example ANFO, you will require an additional licence to mix and use ANFO.

National security

Anyone concerned about with the possible misuse of ammonium nitrate can immediately report any suspicious activity to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400.

If you have any questions relating to making an application, please contact us on 1300 365 255.

Agricultural use

FormFeeDuration

Agricultural use - Application

$68.50 3 years

Classification of explosives - SSAN

Any explosive that is imported, manufactured, transported, stored, sold or used must be authorised by SafeWork SA.

To apply for a security sensitive substance to be classified you must be able to provide sufficient information to SafeWork SA that defines the composition, quality and character of the substance.

The following information will need to be provided with the application

  • details of the manufacturer
  • trade name of the security sensitive substance
  • the applicable UN number, proper shipping name and Class or Division
  • proof of classification in the form of documentation from a recognised Competent Authority which classifies the substance and results of classification tests conducted in accordance with the UN criteria
  • if the product has been classified in another jurisdiction, proof of that classification
  • the chemical composition of the security sensitive substance including the percentage of each ingredient
  • a Safety Data Sheet that complies with the Work Health and Safety Regulations
  • a technical data sheet
  • a detailed description of the packaging and applicable UN package test certificate
  • details of labelling on the packaging and evidence that it complies with the requirements of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code.

Once you have submitted an application, it will be assessed by an inspector. Applications must include all required information before they will be assessed.

Imported Ammonium Nitrate, must have a certificate of analysis with each import. See Technical Note 66 for further information.

You should be familiar with the Explosives Act 1936.

FormFeeDuration
Classification of an explosive - Application $194.00 (new)
$110.00 (amendment)
N/A

Explosives use

FormFeeDuration

Explosives use - Application

$68.50 3 years

Import/export

You must have a permit to import or export SSAN in or out of South Australia.

You must notify us at least 7 working days before importing or exporting SSAN in or out of Australia. For export to an overseas country, you must provide documentation confirming that the shipment complies with import regulations in the receiving jurisdiction.

FormFeeDuration

SSAN (General) - Application

$68.50 3 years
Notice of intention to import/export ammonium nitrate N/A Each occurrence
SSAN (General) - Variation or renewal $68.50 3 years

Mix and use

You must have a licence to mix and use ammonium nitrate.

If an explosive is stored overnight, you will also require a licence to store on premises or in a magazine.

This licence is:

  • valid only for licence holder
  • valid only for the place/places specified in the licence
  • valid only for the particular ammonium nitrate mixture specified in the licence
  • is not transferable

You should be familiar with the Explosives Act 1936.

FormFeeDuration

Mix and use ammonium nitrate - Application

$65.50 (1 location)
$165 (2+ locations)
1 year

Storage

You must have a licence and develop a security plan to store security sensitive ammonium nitrate at a place, in bulk or packages overnight. The licence gives authorisation to store a particular type and quantity of SSAN at a specified location.

All SSANs need to be under constant supervision or lock and key (similar to the level of security required to store other dangerous chemicals). The level of security needs to be such that you will be able to know if you have been broken into and how much SSAN has been taken.

Please refer to the Licence Conditions and Safe storage and handling of ammonium nitrate for information on the storage of Security Sensitive Ammonium Nitrate.

FormFeeDuration

SSAN (General) - Application

$68.50 3 years
SSAN (General) - Variation or renewal $68.50 3 years

Transport

FormFeeDuration

SSAN (General) - Application

$68.50 3 years
SSAN (General) - Variation or renewal $68.50 3 years
Page last updated: 30 June 2020