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
- the manufacturer has provided evidence of conformity and
- 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.
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!