ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

If your fireworks meet the definition of “Display Fireworks” under 27 CFR § 555.11, you must use the table of distance requirements found in 27 CFR § 555.224, Table of distances for the storage of display fireworks (except bulk salutes). You are required to use the table of distance requirements found in 27 CFR § 555.218 if your magazine contains bulk salutes or flash powder, or if the net explosives weight of your display fireworks magazine exceeds 10,000 pounds.

ATF is unable to provide you with specific advice without receiving more information on your activities. Generally, your employee possessor status would not be affected unless you were no longer employed by “Company A,” or you fell within a prohibiting category listed on ATF Form 5400.28, Employee Possessor Questionnaire. Generally, “Company A” would not be responsible for your off-site fireworks hobby activities.

You can submit additional information regarding specific questions to ATF’s Explosives Industry Programs Branch at: EIPB@atf.gov.

By way of background, in order for the manufacturing and transportation to be considered under the authority of a Federal explosives license or permit, the manufacturing and transportation of fireworks by volunteer club members must be supervised by an authorized member of the club, such as an officer of the club, who is listed as a responsible person on the license or permit application. Further, these fireworks must be transported in compliance with USDOT regulations.

A vehicle does not fall under the definition of the term “inhabited building,” as defined in 27 CFR § 555.11 and further clarified in ATF Ruling 2005-3. However, the hotel would be considered an inhabited building when determining distances needed to comply with table of distance requirements at 27 CFR § 555.224. Further, you are required to comply with any State and local requirements regarding storage of explosive materials.

Federal regulations at 18 U.S.C. § 845(a)(1) state that Federal explosives law does not apply to “Any aspect of the transportation of explosive materials via railroad, water, highway, or air which are regulated by the United States Department of Transportation and agencies thereof, and which pertain to safety.” If USDOT has deemed your fireworks activities exempt from their regulations, the exception in 18 U.S.C. § 845(a)(1) would not apply.

Federal regulations at 27 CFR § 555.205 require, in part, that all explosive materials be stored in locked magazines unless they are being transported to a place of storage or use by a person who has lawfully acquired the explosive materials. When your vehicle comes to rest for the evening, your explosive materials would not be considered in transit, no longer fall under this exception, and must comply with all explosives requirements under Federal law and regulations for overnight storage. You would also be required to comply with all State and local regulations regarding the storage and transportation of explosives.

All persons are required to store explosives in a manner outlined under 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K - Storage, including the table of distance requirements. ATF has outlined alternate methods and procedures for the temporary storage of display fireworks in locked and attended vehicles at explosives magazine sites, as well as at fireworks display sites in ATF Ruling 2007-2. You can find the specific guidelines in ATF Ruling 2007-2, as well as other ATF rulings, at http://www.atf.gov/content/library/rulings.

You may not transport personally manufactured fireworks under the club’s explosives license. Under 18 U.S.C. § 845(a)(3), it is unlawful for any person other than a licensee or permittee to knowingly transport, ship, cause to be transported, or receive explosive materials. ATF authorizes volunteer members of licensed clubs or other licensed hobby organizations to possess explosive materials while assisting in supervised club shoots, so long as their assistance is under the direct control and supervision of the licensed club. However, your personal manufacturing activities are conducted at a location away from the club’s licensed premise or shoot and are not directed or supervised by the fireworks club.

You may manufacture display fireworks for personal use at your property without obtaining a Federal explosives license or permit (a manufacturer’s license is needed only by persons engaged in the business of manufacturing fireworks for sale, distribution, or other commercial purpose). However, where storage occurs, you must comply with all storage requirements in 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K. In addition, a Federal explosives license or permit is required to transport, or cause to be transported, the explosive materials, even to the location of the club activity.

No. The regulations at 27 CFR § 555.141 exempt consumer fireworks from the requirements of 27 CFR, Part 555, including distance requirements. However, if you store consumer fireworks in a magazine with display fireworks, your consumer fireworks should be in unopened cases and packaged for shipment.

Although you may lawfully receive and store the display fireworks, your return or distribution of explosive materials to a person who does not hold a Federal license or permit would violate Federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 842(b).

The transfer of display fireworks generally constitutes a distribution as defined in 27 CFR § 555.11. Therefore, you are permitted to receive display fireworks from the municipality but must maintain a record of the acquisition pursuant to 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart G – Records and Reports. Additionally, you must maintain a daily summary of magazine transactions pursuant to 27 CFR § 555.127 for all explosives stored in your magazines.

Pursuant to 27 CFR § 555.141(a)(3), Federal explosives regulations generally do not apply to the “transportation, shipment, receipt, or importation of explosive materials for delivery to any agency of the United States or to any State or its political subdivision.” Although the city is required to properly store explosives, it is exempt from the Federal licensing requirements at 27 CFR, Part 555, and can receive display fireworks without possessing a Federal explosives license or permit. Therefore, you can return the display fireworks to the city prior to the show so long as you enter this disposition in your permanent records as required under 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart G.

Yes. The exemption for ‘consumer fireworks’ or ‘articles pyrotechnic’ found in 27 CFR § 555.141(a)(7) states that Part 555 (Commerce in Explosives) does not apply to “The importation, distribution, and storage of fireworks classified as UN0336, UN0337, UN0431, or UN0432 explosives by the U.S. Department of Transportation at 49 CFR 172.101…” The definition for “display fireworks” states, in part, that “…Display fireworks are classified as fireworks UN0333, UN0334 or UN0335 by the U.S. Department of Transportation at 49 CFR 172.101…” Therefore, this reclassification by USDOT causes these materials to fall under the definition of display fireworks.

Yes. The attachment of igniters to the display fireworks at the fireworks plant constitutes an assembly process and is considered “processing.” Any building in which igniters are attached to display fireworks is considered a “fireworks process building,” which is defined, in part, in 27 CFR § 555.11 as “…any building in which pyrotechnic compositions or explosive materials is pressed or otherwise prepared for finished and assembly…” Be advised that the display shells and igniters cannot be stored in a process building overnight and must be moved to an explosives magazine which complies with the requirements in 27 CFR § 555, Subpart K.

Yes. Fireworks display cakes and fireworks display roman candles that contain only salutes, and exceed the limits of explosive materials for classification as “consumer fireworks” as defined in 27 CFR § 555.11, are classified as bulk salutes. Bulk salutes are high explosives and must be stored in Type-1 or Type-2 magazines.

Licensed importers are required to record the date and shift of manufacture of all imported explosive materials in their permanent acquisition and disposition records. The “Manufacturer’s marks of identification” required by 27 CFR § 555.122(b)(3) and 27 CFR § 555.122(c)(3) refer to the date and shift of manufacture. The shift of manufacture is not required if the foreign manufacturing plant operates only one shift during the day.

Yes. Under 27 CFR § 555.109(c)(3), licensed importers must place the required marks on each cartridge, bag, or other immediate container of explosive materials that are imported for sale or distribution, as well as on any outside container used for the packaging of such explosive materials. The markings must also be included on each display candle and display cake.

No. If all of your imported fireworks are used for your company’s display shows, no import markings are required. However, any subsequent distribution of display fireworks without the proper markings required by 27 CFR § 555.109 would place you in violation of Federal explosives laws. Import markings are required to be placed on display fireworks for sale or distribution within 15 days following their release from U.S. Customs custody.

Federal regulations at 27 CFR § 555.109 require that you mark all explosive materials imported for sale or distribution. You need not mark those materials imported for your own use. However, the fact that the structure of your operations makes it difficult to distinguish materials imported for sale from those imported for your own use may make it practical for you to mark all of the imported display fireworks. Bear in mind that any materials to be sold or distributed must be marked within 15 days after release from U.S. Customs custody. Therefore, those materials not marked within 15 days may not be later marked and sold or otherwise distributed.