A pyrotechnic article is any article containing explosive substances or an explosive mixture of substances designed to produce heat, light, sound, gas or smoke or a combination of such effects through self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions. Fireworks are examples of pyrotechnic articles.
The EU Directive 2013/29/EU covers a variety of categories of pyrotechnic articles and is concerned with the free movement of such articles whilst ensuring high level of protection of human health and public security as well as consumer safety and environmental protection. The directive details essential safety requirements that these articles must fulfil before being placed on the market.
To learn more about the Safety Requirements on Pyrotechnic Articles, take a look at Schedule I in S.L. 427.70, which transposes the EU directive to the laws of Malta.
Are Fireworks intended for Village Feasts Recognized under this Regulation?
By firework, we mean a pyrotechnic article intended for entertainment purposes. Although a firework is a pyrotechnic article, the Directive makes several exemptions from its provisions, including:
Pyrotechnic articles intended for non-commercial use by the Armed Forces of Malta, the Malta Police Force or the Civil Protection Department;
Fireworks which are built by a Maltese manufacturer and let-off in Malta by the licensee of, or by a license A holder registered with, the same fireworks factory, in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance and its regulations
Fireworks used during village feasts fall under Exemption 7; and therefore, are exempted from this directive and its provisions. Nevertheless, they are to be built and let-off by those who possess a License issued in accordance with the Explosives Ordinance and its regulations.
What Categories exist for Pyrotechnic Articles?
Pyrotechnic articles falling within the scope of this directive shall be categorised by the manufacturer according to the categorisation method described below. Notified bodies as referenced in Article 21 of the Directive shall confirm their categorisation as part of the conformity assessment procedures.
There are 3 main categories under this Directive:
Theatrical Pyrotechnic Articles
Other Pyrotechnic Articles
Each category is further divided into sub-categories as explained below:
Fireworks which present a very low hazard and negligible noise level, and which are intended for use in confined areas, including fireworks which are intended for use inside domestic buildings
Fireworks which present a low hazard and low noise level, and which are intended for outdoor use in confined areas
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
Fireworks which present a high hazard, which are intended for use only by persons with specialist knowledge (commonly known as fireworks for professional use) and whose noise level is not harmful to human health
Theatrical Pyrotechnic Articles
Pyrotechnic articles for stage use which present a low hazard
Pyrotechnic articles for stage use which are intended for use only by persons with specialist knowledge
Other Pyrotechnic Articles
Pyrotechnic articles, other than fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnic articles, which present a low hazard
Pyrotechnic articles, other than fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnic articles, which are intended for handling or use only by persons with specialist knowledge.
With the exception of Category F1 fireworks, pyrotechnic articles shall be made available only to persons with specialist knowledge and are not to be made available to persons below 18 years of age. F1 fireworks shall not be available to persons below 12 years of age.
When placing their pyrotechnic articles on the market, you must ensure that they have been designed and manufactured in accordance with the essential safety requirements set out in Schedule I of S.L. 427.70.
Where compliance of a pyrotechnic article with the applicable requirements has been demonstrated by that procedure, you must draw up an EU declaration of conformity and affix the CE marking as appropriate in accordance with EC 765/2008. Technical documentation and the Declaration of Conformity must be kept until 10 years after the article has been placed on the market.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have procedures in place that ensure conformity with these regulations.
In the interest of safety in cases of risk, the TRD or the Malta Police Force may request that you carry out sample testing of pyrotechnic articles that you have made available on the market so that they may investigate, as required. It is your responsibility to ensure that the articles you place on the market are labelled in accordance with relevant regulations and to cooperate with the authorities during investigations.
Pyrotechnic articles for vehicles are components of safety devices in vehicles which contain pyrotechnic substances used to activate these or other devices. Their labelling shall include the information about the manufacturer, the name and type of the pyrotechnic article, its registration number and its product, batch or serial number and, where necessary, the safety instructions. In cases where there is no space for appropriate labelling, this information shall be provided on the packaging.
In addition to the above, a safety data sheet for the pyrotechnic article for vehicles must be compiled in accordance with Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH regulation), and is to be supplied to professional users in the language requested by them.
What are my obligations as an Importer?
If you are an importer, then you are a person established within the Union who places a pyrotechnic article from a third country on the market. As an importer, you may only place compliant articles on the market.
You must make sure that those articles you place on the market have had the appropriate conformity assessment carried out in accordance with regulation 10 of S.L. 427.70 by their manufacturer and must be supplied with the appropriate technical documentation. In addition, the article must bear the CE mark and is accompanied with the Declaration of Conformity. This documentation must be kept by yourself for a period of 10 years and must be provided to the authorities on the basis of a reasoned request.
If you are a distributor, then you are a person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who makes a pyrotechnic article available on the market. Similar to an importer, you must ensure that you only place compliant articles on the market.
When is an Importer and/or a Distributor considered a Manufacturer?
An importer or distributor shall be considered a manufacturer when they place a pyrotechnic article on the market under their name or trademark or modifies a pyrotechnic article already placed on the market in such a way that compliance with the requirements of these Regulations may be affected.
What conformity Assessment procedures must be followed?
Depending on the pyrotechnic article, a manufacturer must follow different conformity assessment modules as detailed in Schedule II of S.L. 427.70. The procedures to be followed are one of the following:
Module B of Schedule II and a choice of either Module C2, Module D or Module E
Module G of Schedule II
Module H of Schedule II
Upon completion, a manufacturer must then draw up a declaration of conformity, as described in Schedule III of S.L. 427.70. If your article is linked to additional legislation other than this Directive, then the declaration of conformity must be updated to reflect this, and must be drawn up in conformity to all legislation it is linked to.