The Pyrotechnics Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010 represent an important introduction into UK law and have a significant impact on all persons involved in the firework and pyrotechnic industry.

Of particular importance and for the first time in UK law, is the introduction and definition of ‘competency’ that will affect in some way all persons handling category 4 fireworks.
Perhaps the most pressing impact for firework operators is that the deadline for demonstrable mandatory competency is fast approaching and comes into force 4th July 2013.

The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010 state that from 4th July 2013, category 4 fireworks, category T2 theatrical and category P2 other pyrotechnic articles can only be supplied to ‘Persons with Specialist Knowledge’

To further emphasise this requirement, the new CE marking on category 4 fireworks will clearly state “for use only by persons with specialist knowledge”

Regulation 42 sets out the requirements for ‘Persons with Specialist Knowledge’
The obtaining of “Persons with Specialist Knowledge” status is dependent on the sector of the industry.

For Category 4 fireworks there are established training schemes, recognised within the industry, that cover the whole range of category 4 fireworks. Examples are those provided by Illuminate Consult that cover the whole range of industry requirements and can also provide bespoke training for specialist markets.

In general Category 4 fireworks training done exclusively by a company, for their own staff, is not considered to be “recognised within the industry”.

Illuminate Consult have been running a very successful 1 day course, ‘Category 4 Fireworks - ‘Person with Specialist Knowledge’ competency, since April 2011 and in the run up to the July deadline, are offering multiple course dates to meet the inevitable last minute demand.

The Pyrotechnics Articles (Safety) Regulations 2010 also introduce the new CE marking requirements for all fireworks and pyrotechnic articles.

Further articles will explain this in more detail but for now, just a taster of a potential problem facing the firework industry in the UK.

You may be aware of the transition from existing BS standards to the new European standards as part of the introduction of CE marking requirements for fireworks. The end implementation date was 2017 but BIS (Business Innovation & Skills) have recently revised their guidance for implementation in the UK without any prior notification or consultation with industry.

The only change in the guidance relates to the transitional measures of the Regulations:-

  • Effectively changes transition period for most Category 1, 2 or 3 Fireworks from 2017 to a retrospective date of 2010
  • Effectively changes transition period for most Category 4 Fireworks, Theatrical Pyrotechnics and Other Pyrotechnics from 7 years to 7 months!
  • Probably means the words of the Regulations and the Guidance conflict with each other

This is a significant change with potentially severe consequences for supply and use of existing fireworks.

The EIG (Explosives Industry Group) are actively pursuing government and related regulatory bodies in order to come to some acceptable resolution for the firework industry. Illuminate Consult will continue to monitor this situation and will publish news of any significant progress.

Illuminate Consult


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  • Paul Winks
    Highlight Pyrotechnics Ltd

    "Course was fantastic."

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    Randa Fireworks

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    The UK Firework Company

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