The Fireworks Regulations 2004
represent the most comprehensive regulation of fireworks
ever attempted in the United Kingdom
. Made under the Fireworks Act 2003
, the Regulations impose restrictions on the importation, sale, possession and use of fireworks in the UK. Whereas previous laws governing fireworks, such as the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997
, were aimed primarily at preventing their being sold to minors, the new measures aim to tackle that peculiarly New Labour
concern of anti-social behaviour
. To this end, the Regulations introduced the following measures:
- a ban on the use of fireworks late at night (after 11pm) except for New Year’s Eve, the night of Diwali and Chinese New Year, where fireworks may be used until 1 am (on Guy Fawkes Night fireworks may be used until 12 midnight);
- a ban on the possession of category 4 fireworks by non-professionals;
- a ban on persons under the age of 18 possessing fireworks in public places;
- a ban on sale of fireworks outside of certain traditional or minority-cultural periods (such as those listed in the first bullet), unless suppliers are licensed; and,
- a requirement that importers of fireworks notify HM Customs and Excise as to where their fireworks are headed – to prevent illegal distribution and dangerous storage.
Some of these regulations are not applicable to Scotland, and none apply of them apply in Northern Ireland, which has its own, stricter regime in place. The Regulations revoked the Fireworks Regulations 2003 which introduced, as emergency provisions, prohibitions on the underage and non-professional possession of fireworks (see bullets 2 and 3 above). UK emergency legislative provisions are usually temporary in nature - lasting no more than one year after the date of coming into force. This is the reason why these measures were revoked and reintroduced in the 2004 Regulations.
While the UK Government maintains that it has no plans as yet to introduce any further measures to regulate fireworks, the Fireworks Act 2003 does allow for any number of regulations to be made in this area, including the introduction of blanket bans on certain categories of firework.
All firework laws and regulations for the state of Virginia have been taken down as of noon on 6/18/08.
The Government Department responsible for fireworks policy is the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI)