Are “consumer fireworks” subject to regulation under the Federal explosives laws?

Generally, the importation, distribution, and storage of fireworks defined as consumer fireworks are exempted from the provisions of the Federal explosives laws. However, because they contain pyrotechnic compositions classed by ATF as explosive materials, the manufacture of consumer fireworks requires a manufacturer’s license. In addition, pyrotechnic compositions used in the manufacture of consumer fireworks must be stored in accordance with regulations in 27 CFR Subpart K. Consumer fireworks are defined as "any small firework device designed to produce visible effects by combustion and which must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as set forth in Title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1500 and 1507. Some small devices designed to produce audible effects are included, such as whistling devices, ground devices containing 50 mg or less of flash powder, and aerial devices containing 130 mg or less of flash powder. Consumer fireworks are classified as fireworks UN0336 and UN0337 by the U.S. Department of Transportation at 49 CFR 172.101. This term does not include fused set pieces containing components which together exceed 50 mg of salute powder."

[27 CFR 555.11: definition of "consumer fireworks"; definition of "licensed manufacturer", 555.141(a)(7)]

Last Reviewed February 11, 2016