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Fireworks importers and retailers need to follow rules

Media release

5 October 2015

Fireworks importers and retailers need to follow rules

One month out from Guy Fawkes, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding importers and retailers of their obligations around the importation, sale and safe storage of fireworks.

The EPA has written to all fireworks importers to remind them of their obligations to obtain import certificates, get imports tested, track consignments up to the point of retail sale, and have proper certification for storage areas. There are also a number of rules that retailers need to follow when importing, storing or selling fireworks:

• The sale period for retail fireworks is from 2 to 5 November, and fireworks cannot be displayed or sold outside this period.

• Fireworks can only be sold to people aged 18 years and over.

• Fireworks displayed for sale in areas the public can access must be protected from any ignition source and can only be displayed in a retail fireworks package.

• Sparklers cannot be sold individually and can only be sold as part of a retail fireworks package. (A retail fireworks package can contain up to 50 sparklers, but must contain at least three other fireworks.)

• Fireworks packages must be constructed of fire-resisting material and have been certified by a test certifier.

In addition, if retailers are handling more than 500 kg (gross weight) of fireworks at any one time, they need to have an approved handler present. Retailers can hold up to 1,000 kg (gross weight) of fireworks inside a shop. If they have more than 1,000 kg, their shop becomes a hazardous substance location and there are additional safety requirements that must be met.

Fireworks must not be sold to the public unless they have been tested and have a test certificate confirming they meet the requirements of the Hazardous Substances (Fireworks) Regulations 2001. Importers or local manufacturers must obtain test certificates from a test certifier before they supply fireworks to a retailer. Retailers can ask for a copy of the test certificate.

Further information for fireworks retailers is available on our website:

Read Your Guide to Selling Retail Fireworks

Read more about importing fireworks

Importers must apply to the EPA for approval to import fireworks into New Zealand. WorkSafe New Zealand is responsible for enforcing the fireworks rules in retail shops, warehouses and other places of work.

Fireworks are controlled by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act. In New Zealand there are a number of rules that regulate the importation, storage, sale and use of fireworks. These rules are in place to prevent harm and to manage the potential risks associated with fireworks.

The EPA, WorkSafe, NZ Fire Service and the NZ Police encourage firework manufacturers, importers and retailers to be aware of their responsibilities as outlined in the regulations.


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