Members may be aware that the Home Office are currently undertaking a consultation on amendments to the Poisons Act 1972, which controls the sale of certain explosives precursors and poisons - including nitromethane.
At the present time, members of the public are permitted to acquire, import, possess and use products containing up to 30% nitromethane. It is also possible to acquire, import, possess and use higher concentrations of nitromethane (up to 100%) but a Home Office license is required for anything above 30%.
The proposals put forward for consultation are as follows:
Option 1 - Make no changes to the existing regulations.
Option 2. Strengthen and clarify measures within the legislation, but not change the substances and concentrations that members of the public can acquire, import, possess and use provided they have a valid license. This would effectively enable members to continue using 30% nitromethane as they do today with no requirement for a license.
Option 3. This would lower the threshold for the license requirement from 30% nitromethane to 16% nitromethane.
Members can find out more about the consultation and respond directly at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/amendments-to-the-poisons-act-1972/consultation-paper-amendments-to-the-poisons-act-1972
The BMFA have attended a meeting with Home Office officials and will be opposing Option 3 due to its negative impact on those members using high nitro content fuels. We would encourage members to respond to the consultation in the same way.
We would like to express our gratitude to the team at the Home Office with whom we had a frank and open discussion on the matter. It is also of note that the UK Government is positively engaging with stakeholders in this way because new regulations equivalent to Option 3 already came into effect a week ago within the EU.