Buying Fireworks The Law for Consumers
Some guidelines as to what is legal – and what isn’t – to help you when you are buying and using your fireworks.
The Pyrotechnic Articles Safety Regulations 2010:
Fireworks CE Marking
On the 4th July 2010, The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations came into force; The regulations state that from the 4th July 2017 it will be a requirement that all fireworks will have to carry a CE mark. There is an allotted period leading up to this date whereby any fireworks that conform to BS7114 and have been manufactured before 3rd July 2010 can still be sold before 4th July 2017.
How does this affect retailers and wholesalers?
As of the 4th of July 2017, all fireworks that you have in stock are required by law to be CE marked; it will be illegal to sell any products that do not carry the CE mark. Any remaining stock that you have will have to be destroyed, at your cost.
How often as a retailer or wholesaler have you purchased fireworks, via special offers or with an extra discount, where you still have some stock left after two or three years?
It is common for fireworks suppliers to have a range of cheaper or discounted products which you have to purchase in a larger quantity than normal. As of 2017 and beyond you must ensure that they are CE marked to be able to sell these.
New Firework Products:
Page 13 of the The BIS guidance article states: “For the purposes of the transitional provisions a product is not considered to be new if it is a product that was placed on the market before the relevant date, including if that was under a different name or with a different part number to the ones under which it is subsequently placed on the market. However, any significant changes to design or construction, or any change of manufacturer will mean that the product should be considered to be a new product.”
Any fireworks carrying the BS7114 mark that have been redesigned prior to 2017 must also carry a CE mark. As a retailer, you should watch out for products in brochures that claim to be “Better Performance”, “Beter Effects” or of “New Design”, as they might fall into the category of requiring a CE mark if unsure always ask your supplier!
All Ghengis Fireworks Ltd. products are CE marked and ready for the UK market.
Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) Document: Guidance On The Pyrotechnic Articles Safety Regulations 2010
Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 2003:
Main Points of the Act and the resulting regulations: Set a curfew on the use of fireworks, banning them between the hours of 11.00 pm and 7.00 am except except for Bonfire Night (midnight), Diwali, New Year, and Chinese New Year (1.00 am)
Banned shop sales of fireworks louder than 120 decibels.
Created an offence for under-18s to have them in a public place.
Made all year-round shop sales licenceable.
Limited the sale period for other retail outlets.
The Act is also an enabling act which set out a framework for more detailed regulations to appear in the future.
Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997
Established the requirements for BS7114 – the Categories 1-4 classification and the safety, testing and labelling of fireworks.
Banned aerial shells,maroons and variations of these, bangers, mini-rockets and fireworks of erratic flight.
Text at Office of Public Sector Information Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997
- No fireworks after 11.00pm
- Bonfire Night
- New Year
- Chinese New Year
- Max 120dB on Cat3
- Min age 18 to buy fireworks or carry in public.
- Fireworks in the street an offence.
- Cat1 – indoor novelties
- Cat2 – garden fireworks, 8m recommended viewing
- Cat3 – display fireworks, 25m recommended viewing
- Cat4 – ‘professional’ Only
There are two other main areas of legislation which can be applied to the purchase of fireworks: Consumer Protection. The intention of several Acts is to ensure that the consumer has the right to goods which are of merchantable quality, are correctly described, and are fit for the purpose for which they are intended. Also, that there is a means of redress if these are requirements are not fulfilled.
Mail Order Protection. Goods ordered online fall within the remit of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 which broadly give similar rights and obligations to online purchasers as those which apply to traditional mail order transactions.