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Fireworks supplied in the UK - whether they are imported or manufactured here - must be authorised by the Health and Safety Executive. They must also be safe as required by the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997 (as amended). At present, in both cases the benchmark is BS 7114.
It is an offence, which can result in a fine of up to £5000 (and/or a prison sentence), to:
• supply (which includes retail sale), unsafe fireworks;
• sell fireworks to persons under the age of 18;
• sell fireworks all year round without a licence to supply;
• possess a category 4 firework if other than a fireworks professional;
• possess fireworks in a public place if under the age of 18;
• set fireworks off after 11 o clock at night.
In addition, before storing fireworks, suppliers must either register or licence their storage premises with their local authority or, where large quantities are concerned, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Under the Explosives Act 1875, it is also an offence to let-off fireworks in a public place; or to alter them without a licence from HSE. The penalty for infringement is a fine of up to £5,000.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills continues to promote general fireworks safety and our fireworks safety materials are available to download on the resources page.
Check out our Fireworks Safety Campaign page on Directgov for further information about using fireworks safely.
Businesses can find information about selling and storing fireworks on Business Link.