EU rules relating to pyrotechnic articles
Directive 2013/29/EU —
It sets out the rules to achieve the free movement of pyrotechnic articles* within the EU market while seeking to ensure high levels of protection of health and safety, and of the environment.
It revises the existing rules on pyrotechnic articles (Directive 2007/23/EC) to align them with the so-called New Legislative Framework, a package of measures to improve market surveillance and the quality of conformity assessments.
The directive lists the categories of pyrotechnic articles to which it applies by type of use.
Fireworks built by a manufacturer for his own use and approved for use only in the EU country in which the manufacturer is established and which remain in that country, are not covered.
It lays down the essential safety requirements that pyrotechnic articles must meet so as to be made available on the market. These are listed in the directive’s Annex I.
It sets out the conformity assessment procedures, where an EU-type examination is carried out, a notified body examines the technical design of an article, and verifies and attests that this design meets the requirements of the directive.
It sets minimum age limits and other restrictions on access to pyrotechnic articles:
F1 category: 12 years;
F2 category: 16 years;
F3 category: 18 years.
Theatrical pyrotechnic articles: T1 category: 18 years.
Other pyrotechnic articles: P1 category: 18 years.
Some pyrotechnic articles may only be made available to people with a specialist knowledge, for example, F4 category fireworks, fireworks for professional use, which present a high hazard.
EU countries may increase these age limits and may further restrict some pyrotechnic articles’ availability to the general public on grounds of public order, security, health and safety, and environmental protection.
All businesses and organisations in the supply and distribution chain must ensure that they only make available on the market those pyrotechnic articles that meet the requirements of this directive. The directive lays down the obligations of each party along this chain.
Manufacturers have to indicate their name, registered trade name or registered trade mark and the postal address at which they can be contacted on the pyrotechnic article, or, where that is not possible, on the packaging or in a document accompanying each article. Contact details must be in a language easily understood both by end-users and market surveillance authorities.
Instructions and safety information must be given in a language which can be easily understood by consumers and other end-users in the EU country in which the article is to be made available on the market.
Labelling must be done in the official language(s) of the country in which the pyrotechnic article is made available. Such labelling must contain at least the minimum information required by the directive.
For market surveillance purposes, manufacturers draw up an EU declaration of conformity for each product in accordance with the model in the directive’s Annex III. This states that the product meets the essential safety requirements. By drawing up the EU declaration of conformity, the manufacturer assumes the legal responsibility for the compliance of the pyrotechnic article with the directive’s requirements.
Manufacturers must ensure that the labelling bears the registration number assigned to the product by the notified body that carries out the conformity assessment.
Importers must ensure that they only place products that comply with this directive on the market. They need to ensure that:
the appropriate conformity assessment procedure has been carried out by the manufacturer;
the pyrotechnic article bears the CE conformity marking;
the labelling meets the requirements;
the documents drawn up by the manufacturer are available to the competent authorities upon request.
Both manufacturers and importers must keep records of the registration numbers of the articles they make available on the market. Implementing Directive 2014/58/EU introduces a system for the traceability of pyrotechnic articles.
The directive requires EU countries to ensure that manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, etc. may only place pyrotechnic articles on the market on condition that they are stored properly and used for their intended purpose, so that theydo not place health and safety at risk.
EU countries must introduce rules on penalties to be applied where parties do not comply with the directive’s requirements. These rules may include criminal penalties for serious infringements.
Application and Background
Most of the new rules contained in Directive 2013/29/EU have applied since 1 July 2015. They had to become law in the EU countries by 30 June 2015, while rules concerning new safety requirements for the most dangerous categories of pyrotechnic articles(categories P1, P2, T2 and F4) had to become law by 3 October 2013.
For more information, see:
Pyrotechnic articles (European Commission).
Pyrotechnic articles: articles containing explosive substances or an explosive mixture of substances designed to produce heat, light, sound, gas or smoke or a combination of such effects. Examples include fireworks, theatrical pyrotechnic articles, ignition devices and vehicle airbags.
Directive 2013/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 June 2013 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pyrotechnic articles (recast) (OJ L 178, 28.6.2013, pp. 27-65)
Commission communication in the framework of the implementation of Directive 2013/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of pyrotechnic articles (Publication of titles and references of harmonised standards under Union harmonisation legislation) (OJ C 149, 12.5.2017, pp. 1-5)
Commission Implementing Directive 2014/58/EU of 16 April 2014 setting up, pursuant to Directive 2007/23/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, a system for the traceability of pyrotechnic articles (OJ L 115, 17.4.2014, pp. 28-31)
last update 28.11.2017
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