From July 1st 2018 members of the public wishing to acquire or purchase sulphuric acid in concentrations of more than 15 per cent will need a valid EPP licence. Consumers can apply and receive a valid EPP licence, at a cost of £39.50.
From November 1st 2018 it will become an offence to possess or use sulphuric acid at concentrations of over 15 per cent, without a valid EPP licence.
This includes bottles of battery electrolyte that have not yet been put into a motorcycle battery.
Distributors and dealers will not need an EPP licence providing they are acquiring, importing, possessing or using sulphuric acid for purposes connected with their trade or business.
All businesses have an obligation to report suspicious transactions, disappearances and thefts of sulphuric acid.
Retailers selling unfilled batteries with separate acid packs to members of the public with an EPP licence will have a responsibility to follow a comprehensive procedure to inspect and record the transaction on the customer’s EPP licence.
The penalties for possession without an EPP licence or supplying restricted substances without verifying that the member of public has a valid EPP licence can be a custodial sentence of two years and a large fine.
Failure to enter transaction details onto the EPP licence or not attaching a warning label has a maximum fine of £500.
Failure to meet the reporting requirements can attract a fine or custodial sentence of up to three months.
The relevant sections can be found in the Supplying explosives precursors and poisons regulations which were updated on 4 April 2018.
On 26 March 2015, the Poisons Act 1972 was amended via the Deregulation Act 2015 and the Control of Poisons and Explosives Precursors Regulations 2015 were introduced to create a cohesive regime to control sales of explosives precursors and poisons. All licences issued under the 2014 regulations will continue to remain valid until expiration.