Festive season is approaching and many people are planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks. It is also a busy time for retailers who are planning to sell fireworks. We have summarised few tips that might be useful:

  • Licence & Storage

Fireworks can be sold any time of the year however the retailer must hold a valid licence or be registered to store fireworks. If you intend to sell outside the traditional fireworks period you must obtain a ‘licence to sell fireworks’. The periods where selling fireworks without a sales licence is permitted are: Guy Fawkes, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali. You should contact your local licensing authority which is normally either Trading Standards Department or the local Fire Service.

There are strict rules on the storage of fireworks. Anyone who stores fireworks must take appropriate measures to prevent fire or explosion. You can view or download a leaflet giving you information about storing and selling fireworks safely at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg407.pdf

  • Over 18 years

It is illegal to sell fireworks to people under the age of 18 (sparkles are included). It is also illegal for under 18’s to be in possession of fireworks in a public place and if they get caught, law enforcement is likely to enquire where they were purchased from.

  • Over 16 years

The following items can be sold to people 16 years old and over: caps, cracker snaps, indoor fireworks, novelty matches, party poppers, serpents and throwdowns.

  • Notice display

You must display a notice in a prominent position reminding customers about the law with regard to underage sales and possession.

  • Unsold items

If you have any unsold items, they are not allowed to be sold on the 1st or 2nd January unless you have a special annual licence. Retailers that don’t have an annual licence will need to wait for the next permitted retail opportunity, which is Chinese New Year on the 19th February, to sell the surplus products. Retailers are able to sell fireworks from three days before the Chinese New Year, the 16th February.

  • Penalties

Retailers can be fined up to £5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90