Legal regulations for the handling and sale of fireworks

The following list is non-binding and only excerpts the most important points from the Explosives Act and the associated ordinances that apply in Germany.

Since July 2017, the 5th Act Amending the Explosives Act has been in force in Germany with some innovations in the labelling and classification of articles.

Fireworks are pyrotechnic articles and may only be made available on the market if

  1. the manufacturer has provided evidence of conformity and
  2. they bear the CE marking

 

Category classification and labelling

The fireworks are divided into categories. As far as possible, the category is marked on each object and on each packaging.

Categroy F1: Smallest fireworks

e.g. throwdowns, christmas cracker, table fireworks, sparklers, party popper

Imprint e.g. "0589-F1..." Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing or another authority authorised to grant approval.

Category F2 : Small fireworks

e.g. rockets, batteries, compounds, roman candles, firecrackers

Imprint e.g. "0589-F2..." Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing or another authority authorised to grant approval.

If fireworks of different categories are combined in one assortment, all legal provisions of the articles from the highest category apply to this assortment.

Category T1: Pyrotechnic articles for stage and theatre

e.g. bengal flames, theater fireworks, fountains, smoke articles

Imprint e.g. "0589-T1..." Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing or another authority authorised to grant approval.

Category P1: Pyrotechnic fuse

e.g. pyrotechnic fuse

Imprint e.g. "0589-P1-ZZP...". Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing or another authority authorised to grant approval.

Authority responsibility

The responsibility of the authorities is regulated differently in the individual federal states. The competent occupational health and safety authorities (e.g. trade supervisory offices, district governments, district presidents) provide more detailed information.

Distribution, transfer and use

Any retail establishment wishing to sell fireworks for the first time or to transport them (e.g. haulage company) must notify the competent authority at least two weeks before commencing operations, stating the name of the establishment, branch or market management.

A new notification is only required if relevant data (e.g. address, company, branch or store manager, etc.) have changed since the last notification. Otherwise, no new notification is required if fireworks are sold on an annually recurring basis.

Fireworks may only be offered and sold in salesrooms.
Exception: Mail order

Fireworks, with the exception of christmas crackers, are generally prohibited from self-service. However, the sale of fireworks is possible within the scope of self-service if a trained person (also cashier) supervises this.

When selling, attention must be drawn to the observance of the instructions for use and safety information. These must be written in German. Smoking and trial burning of fireworks in rooms where fireworks are sold is strictly prohibited.

Selling in shopping arcades (aisles) and from kiosks to the outside is prohibited.

Fireworks of category F1 may also be sold outside salesrooms.

Fireworks of category F1 may only be given throughout the year to persons who have reached the age of 12. To avoid hazards, use is only permitted in accordance with the instructions for use. Distribution is also permitted outside of sales rooms as well as at kiosks and in the travel trade.

Fireworks of category F2 may only be supplied to persons over 18 years of age. They may only be sold to consumers between 29 December and 31 December each year. If one of these three days is a Sunday, the corresponding products may also be sold on 28 December within the framework of the statutory shop opening hours.

The use of category F2 fireworks is restricted to 31 December and 1 January each year. On other days, an exceptional permit is required, which must usually be applied for at the municipality.

We will be happy to inform you about the currently valid regulations and restrictions on the use of category F2 fireworks outside New Year's Eve and New Year's Day on request.

Fireworks of category T1 may be given to and used by persons over the age of 18 throughout the year. For certain items, proof of commercial use is required. Please follow the instructions on the item or package!

Fireworks of category P1 may be given to and used by persons over the age of 18 throughout the year. Please follow the instructions on the item or the package!

Storage

The following protective precautions must be observed during storage:

Measures shall be taken to prevent unauthorised removal and theft. Fireworks shall be stored in such a way that their temperature does not exceed 75°C.

The placing of these objects in the immediate vicinity of or on radiators or heating pipes should be avoided.

No substances that contribute to an increase in danger (e.g. spray cans) may be stored in the immediate vicinity of the fireworks.

Smoking, naked lights or fires are not permitted in the storage room. Suitable fire-fighting measures must be available and accessible at all times. Fireworks may only be stored in the shipping packaging or smallest packaging unit. Only packaging tested by BAM may be displayed in sales rooms. The test number and the indication that it is safe to display are printed on it. Opened packages must be resealed immediately. Packages (e.g. shipping cartons) shall be placed and stacked in such a way that they do not change their position by themselves. If packages are stacked, care must be taken to ensure that their weight does not deform them in a way that endangers safety. Unserviceable fireworks shall be stored separately. They shall be returned to the manufacturer as soon as possible.

Maximum quantities

The following licence-free maximum quantities apply to the storage of pyrotechnic articles. Permit-free storage of small quantities in accordance with Annex 6 to the Appendix to § 2 of the 2nd Explosives Ordinance.

Storage groups 1.4G and 1.4S. The shipping cartons are marked accordingly.

Salesroom:

max. 70 kg NEM in end consumer packaging tested by BAM (see note on the package) or max. 14 kg NEM "loose" goods and 56 kg NEM in tested end consumer packaging.

Side room:

max. 100 kg NEM in end consumer packaging tested by BAM or max. 20 kg NEM "loose" goods and 80 kg NEM in tested end consumer packaging. The side room must not be used for the permanent residence of persons.

nico europe info gesetzliche bestimmungen lagerhalle mit langen mehrstöckigen regalen voller eingeschweißter pakete auf paletten

Storage room:

max. 350 kg NEM in end consumer packaging tested by BAM or max. 70 kg NEM "loose" goods and 280 kg NEM in tested end consumer packaging. A building without living space is suitable as a storage room. The storage room must at least comply with fire resistance class F30/T30. Attention must be paid to theft protection!

Warehouse quantity limits of warehouse group 1.4:nico europe info gesetzliche bestimmungen zulaessige lagermengen tabelle übersicht
Portable storage:

The portable storage of fireworks (e.g. in containers outdoors) is subject to the proviso that the location of one or more containers must be agreed with the authority responsible for fire protection.

Larger storage facilities in which more than 350 kg of NEM are to be stored necessarily require a storage permit in accordance with § 17 SprengG from the competent authority. Storage in the open or on vehicles is not permitted.

Transport:

Pyrotechnic objects are not permitted to be sent by post.

For road, rail and inland waterway transport, the provisions of the Dangerous Goods Regulations for Road, Rail and Inland Waterways (GGVSEB) and Annexes A and B of the ADR apply.

When transporting packages marked 1.4G or 1.4S by truck, no co-driver is required. Diesel-powered HGVs may carry fireworks of UN No. 0336 (1.4G) up to a net explosive mass of 3000 Kg (4000 Kg net explosive mass for transport units with trailer) (ADR Part 3.3 Special Provision 651). Hazard group 1.4G articles up to a maximum set weight of 15,000 kg (net) may be carried on an EX/2 type HGV.

If only articles of hazard group 1.4S are transported, the loading quantity is unlimited. In addition, the regulations on special requirements for vehicles do not then apply. The following equipment must be on board the transport unit: One wheel chock per vehicle, two fire extinguishers, two self-standing warning signs, warning waistcoat for each member, lighting equipment, a pair of protective gloves and accompanying documents.

If goods of the hazard groups 1.4G and 1.4S are transported together, the goods of group 1.4S are not taken into account. Only the mass of group 1.4G is relevant for compliance with the transport regulations. The requirements for the vehicle, the vehicle equipment and the carriage of the "Written Instruction" and ADR training certificates apply from a net explosive mass of 333 kg of Group 1.4G. Only UN-approved packagings with the letters "y" or "x" in the test number may be used.