Fireworks Act 2003
These regulations came into force on 22 December 2003
Please note some of the following extracts from the Fireworks
Regulation 3 prohibits a person under eighteen from possessing all
fireworks (with the exception of the firework types listed in Regulation
3(2)(b)) in a public place).
Regulation 3(2)(b) excludes items such as caps, cracker snap, novelty
match, party popper, serpent, sparkler or throw downs from the Regulations.
of these items is defined in relatively simple terms in Regulation 2.
Regulation 4 also prohibits persons of any age from possessing (in a public
place or elsewhere) a category 4 firework.
A category 4 firework is defined in
Regulation 2(1) by reference to the categorisation of fireworks under British
These are the largest most powerful
Both these prohibitions (Regulations 3 and 4) are subject to the
exceptions in Regulation 5.
The exceptions in Regulation 5 allow a person under eighteen to be in
possession of a firework in a public place, or a person of any age to be in
possession of a category 4 firework in the following cases:
* professional organisers or operators of firework displays, or their
* manufacturers (or their employees) of fireworks or assemblies containing
* suppliers (or their employees) of fireworks or assemblies containing
fireworks for the purposes of supplying the fireworks in accordance with the
Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997;
* employees of local authorities, Government departments and naval,
military and air force establishments, for the purposes of firework displays or
for use at national public celebrations or commemorative events (or in the case
of Government departments, for research or investigations purposes);
* persons using fireworks, in the course of
their trade, business or employment, for special effects purposes in the
theatre, on film or on television;
* for the purposes of test purchases by bodies with enforcement powers;
* and suppliers (or their
employees) of goods for use with fireworks or assemblies containing fireworks,
who are using the fireworks to test those goods to ensure they perform correctly
or comply with safety legislation.
By virtue of section 11 of the Fireworks Act 2003, a
contravention of either Regulation 3 or Regulation 4 is a
(1) Any person who contravenes a prohibition imposed by
fireworks regulations is guilty of an offence.
(2) Any person who fails to comply with a requirement imposed by
or under fireworks regulations to give or not to give information is guilty of
(3) Where a requirement to give information is imposed by or
under fireworks regulations, a person is guilty of an offence if, in giving the
information, they -
(a) makes a statement which they knows is false in a
material particular, or
(b) recklessly makes a statement which is false in a
(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable
on summary conviction to -
(a) imprisonment for a term not exceeding
(b) a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale,
or to both.
Although section 12 of the Fireworks Act 2003 and section 27(1) of the Consumer
Protection Act 1987 provide that it is the duty of local weights and measures
authorities to enforce these Regulations, this duty is transferred to the
relevant police forces (Regulation 6). [SI 2003/3085 The Fireworks Regulations
The current guidelines in Judges Rules are a
minimum of £80 fine plus costs for a first offence.
In addition, from 1st September 2004 Welsh police have a The
Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) scheme whereby an on the spot fine of £80
to be paid for anti social type offences including drunkenness, wasting police
time, and even throwing fireworks, or discharging them after 11 pm.
© Crown copyright 2003
For more comprehensive information regarding the Fireworks Act
2003, please visit the DTI website