Current regulations for 2021 sales ban and safety instructions for new year’s eve fireworks

May I buy and set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve this year?

On 02.12.In 2021, the German government issued a nationwide ban on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s gatherings, a nationwide ban on the sale of pyrotechnics, and a ban on fireworks in public places (Measures to cope with the corona pandemic, as of 02.12.2021).

It strongly advises to refrain from the use of fireworks, so as not to put additional strain on hospitals and emergency medical services, which are already under heavy strain because of the Corona crisis. For more information on the Corona rules in effect on New Year’s Eve, click here.

All citizens who nevertheless set off fireworks within the legally permitted scope should observe the following safety instructions in order to avoid injuries in particular.

May I import fireworks from other countries, such as z. B. Poland or Czech Republic to Germany? If yes, what has to be considered?

In principle, this is permitted, provided that the fireworks have been tested by one of the so-called "Notified Bodies" of the EU, which also includes BAM, for compliance with the provisions of the applicable EU Directive on pyrotechnics. In this case, the product in question has a four-digit registration number (z. B. 0589 for the BAM) and bears a CE mark.

However, in the German Explosives Act there are restrictions or. additional regulations that only apply in Germany.

For registered fireworks of category F2 (u.a. For example, for rockets, batteries and firecrackers), they may only be imported into Germany and used by persons over 18 years of age, even if these fireworks may be purchased in other European countries in some cases already at the age of 16 years.

In addition, the following pyrotechnic articles of category F2 may only be given to or used by permit holders or certificate holders (§ 20 paragraph 4 of the 1. SprengV):

  • Firecrackers and firecracker batteries with flash bang set,
  • Rockets with more than 20 g net explosive mass,
  • gushers and
  • Pyrotechnic articles with whistle set as a single object.

The instructions for use must also be fully understood by the user, which is not always the case when buying fireworks from abroad, as these items were not produced by the manufacturer for the German market.

Furthermore, additional regulations apply to the transport, the use (e.g., the use of fireworks) and the use of fireworks in Germany. B. Burning times) and storage. Nationally, the existence of a storage and compatibility group for fireworks is also required by law.

BAM therefore recommends consumers to buy fireworks for use in Germany only in Germany and not in other European countries.

What to consider when ordering fireworks online (also from abroad)?

Fireworks ordered on the Internet must also meet the legal requirements. The market surveillance authorities of the federal states are responsible for monitoring online trade, i.d.R. the trade supervisory authority (or corresponding authorities with trade supervisory tasks).

With regard to the transfer regulations, we refer to the 1. SprengV and especially § 22n. We generally do not recommend online deliveries of fireworks that are classified as dangerous goods.

How do I know that my fireworks are tested?? How can I recognize illegal fireworks?

Tested fireworks can be recognized by the registration number and the CE mark in connection with the identification number of the testing authority. Tested fireworks must have both marks. The first four digits of the registration number indicate which notified body in Europe has type-tested the fireworks article. The identification number 0589 stands for the BAM.

0589 – F2 – 1234 is an example of a registration number assigned by BAM. F2 stands for fireworks of the category F2, 1234 is a consecutive number.

Also make sure that German instructions for use are available.

When buying fireworks, look for the registration number and the CE mark.

How much fireworks am I allowed to transport in my car as a private person??

Fireworks are pyrotechnic articles and therefore dangerous goods. Private persons are allowed to transport up to 50 kg gross (total weight including all pyrotechnic substances and materials, including packaging).

Furthermore, the dangerous goods regulations apply.

How much fireworks may I store privately?

If it is an inhabited space, you may privately store fireworks of categories F1 and F2 with a maximum of 1 kg of net explosive mass (NEM). The NEM is to be found on the packaging or packaging unit.

In an unoccupied room of a residential building (e.g. B. unused guest room, laundry room) fireworks of categories F1 and F2 may be stored up to a quantity of 10 kg NEM.

In a building without living space (z.B. A separate garage), fireworks of category F1 and F2 may be stored up to a NEM of 15 kg.

To illustrate, a firework battery may have 1 kg total weight, while the net explosive mass (pyrotechnic substance) in it may be 350 g.

As a general rule, make sure that fireworks are stored in a cool and dry place, as z.B. moisture can lead to loss of function and too high temperatures can lead to ignition. The placing of fireworks articles in the immediate vicinity of or on radiators or heating pipes is to be avoided. No smoking or use of open light or fire is allowed in the storage room. Also, no substances should be stored in the immediate vicinity that contribute to an increase in danger, such as z.B. Spray cans.

You can find more information in our brochure "Safe New Year’s Eve"

I still have fireworks from previous years. Can I still use it?

If consumers* still have fireworks left over from previous years, it is strongly recommended that they do not set them off in order to avoid accidents and to avoid placing an additional burden on hospitals during the Corona pandemic.

Fireworks that have been stored for a longer period of time may lose their function or react more slowly due to the absorption of moisture. In this case, it is imperative to refrain from relighting attempts, otherwise it may react unexpectedly after all. However, even excessively dry stored fireworks can change its function within the permitted limits somewhat and possibly. react a little faster or slower. Therefore, it is particularly important to observe the instructions for use and safety measures at all times.

What makes illegal firecrackers so dangerous?

Illegal firecrackers can cause significant injuries. These often contain not only black powder, but are filled with a much stronger reacting flash bang or contain a significantly larger net explosive mass (NEM). In addition, it is not guaranteed that from the moment of ignition to the ignition of the firecracker is also enough time to take the required safety distance. This is how z. B. the ignition of a firecracker in the hand can result in serious injuries, which can lead to severe burns or even the loss of fingers.

Handling of non-tested and CE-marked items is a criminal offense.

How to dispose of fireworks properly?

Fireworks contain explosive substances that are sensitive to impact, friction and heat influences. Therefore, special care must be taken with regard to disposal. The following recommendations for handling fireworks that have not functioned or have not functioned completely apply only to small quantities of category F1 and F2 fireworks:

Remains of CE-marked fireworks, such as empty firework tube batteries or rockets with power rods that have worked completely, can be disposed of in the residual waste garbage can after sufficient cooling (for example overnight) due to the conversion of the explosive substances.

CE-marked fireworks that have not functioned or have not functioned fully still have explosive substances in them. Due to the unforeseeable dangers, these fireworks should not be reignited under any circumstances, but should be disposed of after sufficient cooling in a recycling or recycling center with treatment for hazardous waste.

Fireworks with an old approval (for example, BAM-PII-XXXX) may no longer be used and must also be disposed of, if possible in original packaging, at a recycling or recycling center with treatment for hazardous waste.

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