The Fireworks (Scotland) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2021 amend the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004. This document gives guidance on the new regulations controlling the supply of F2 and F3 category fireworks in Scotland that come into force on 30 June 2021. A separate guidance note covering the use of fireworks is available.
The regulations include three new measures in relation to the way the general public can use and access fireworks. The regulations:
- restrict the times of day fireworks can be used by the general public to between 6pm and 11pm, with the exception of 5 November (when they can be used from 6pm until midnight), New Year’s Eve, the night of Chinese New Year and the night of Diwali (when they can be used from 6pm until 1am)
- restrict the times of day fireworks can be supplied to the general public to during the daytime hours of 7am and 6pm, alongside existing requirements on retailers around sale and storage licences
- limit the quantity of fireworks that can be supplied to the general public to 5kg at any one time
The new restrictions on the supply* of fireworks, which includes sales, apply across Scotland, all year round. They apply to all forms of sale, including online orders and deliveries from businesses based both within and outwith Scotland that supply firework products to consumers in Scotland.
Certain customers are exempt from the regulations and may be supplied fireworks outside the permitted hours, and in amounts exceeding the permitted quantities. This includes community groups or organisations arranging a public firework display. More information about exemptions is provided below.
*Supply is defined in the Fireworks Act 2003 – Ssection 1(3) and includes (a) selling them, (b) exchanging them for any consideration other than money, and (c) giving them as a prize or otherwise making a gift of them; but does not include supplying them otherwise than in the course of a business.
Regulation 3A: supply of fireworks outside permitted hours
From 30 June 2021, fireworks may only be supplied to the general public within the permitted hours of between 7am and 6pm.
Existing restrictions on the sale and storage of fireworks under the Fireworks Regulations 2004 and Explosives Regulations 2014 continue to apply. For example, retailers supplying fireworks at specific times in the year around Bonfire Night, New Year, Chinese New Year and Diwali must apply to the relevant local authority for a storage licence to do so; while a separate licence is required for retailers that supply fireworks throughout the year.
Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing regulations in relation to the supply of fireworks outwith the permitted hours. This is provided for in the Fireworks Act 2003, which is the law under which these regulations are made. Offences may be punishable by a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (up to £5000), or up to 6 months imprisonment, or both.
Regulation 3B: supply of fireworks in excess of the permitted quantity
From 30 June 2021 retailers may supply up to 5 kilograms (kg) of category F2 and F3 fireworks at any one time to anyone who is not exempt as set out in the regulations. More information about exemptions is included below.
Existing restrictions on the types of fireworks that may be sold continue to apply. For example, the prohibition on sales of fireworks that exceed 120 decibels, and restrictions on sales of fireworks to under-18s remain in force. Please refer to the existing legislation and guidance for more information.
Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing regulations in relation to the supply of fireworks in permitted quantities. Offences may be punishable by a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (up to £5000), or up to 6 months imprisonment, or both.
Exemptions from regulations 3A and 3B
There are a number of exemptions where fireworks may continue to be supplied outside the permitted hours, and/or in amounts exceeding the permitted quantity. Under these exemptions, fireworks can continue to be supplied to:
- professional organisers or operators of fireworks displays, and their employees
- suppliers of fireworks in accordance with the provisions of the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 (i.e. Trade Sales)
- local authorities who are putting on a national public celebration or commemorative event, or other display for the local authority
- organisers of a public fireworks display for a charitable, religious, youth, recreational, community, political or similar organisation
- customers outside Scotland
For example, a community group may present their public entertainment licence granted by the local authority or public liability insurance documents to a firework retailer, in order to purchase fireworks outwith the permitted hours specified within the regulations
Sources for further information
- The Fireworks (Scotland) Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2021
- The Fireworks Act 2003
- The Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004
- Fireworks Regulations 2004
- Explosives Regulations 2014
- The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015
Adult fireworks are category F2, F3 and F4 fireworks.
Category F2 fireworks are fireworks which present a very low hazard and low noise level and which are intended for outdoor use in confined areas.
Category 3 fireworks are fireworks which present a medium hazard, which are intended for outdoor use in large open areas and whose noise level is not harmful to human health.
Category F4 fireworks are only available to fireworks professionals
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