Are “Articles Pyrotechnic” subject to the requirements of the Federal explosives regulations?

Federal explosives regulations generally exempt the importation, distribution, and storage of items classified as UN0431 or UN0432 explosives―by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) at 49 CFR 172.101―and generally known as “articles pyrotechnic.” However, not all items classified by DOT as articles pyrotechnic are exempt from ATF regulations. To be exempt, the items must meet all criteria found in the definition for “articles pyrotechnic” at 27 CFR 555.11, “Pyrotechnic devices for professional use similar to consumer fireworks in chemical composition and construction but not intended for consumer use. Such articles meeting the weight limits for consumer fireworks but not labeled as such and classified by U.S. Department of Transportation regulations in 49 CFR 172.101 as UN0431 or UN0432.” In evaluating whether a particular device is exempt under 27 CFR 555.141(a)(7), ATF considers, in part, the intended use and function of the device, net explosive weight, chemical composition, and construction.

Because they contain pyrotechnic compositions classed by ATF as explosive materials, the manufacture of items defined as “articles pyrotechnic” requires an ATF manufacturer’s license. In addition, pyrotechnic compositions used in the manufacture of articles pyrotechnic must be stored in accordance with regulations in 27 CFR Subpart K. The [27 CFR 555.11: definitions of “articles pyrotechnic” and “consumer fireworks”, 555.141(a)(7)]

Last Reviewed September 28, 2018