Further to this vote fireworks will soon become safer to use thanks to new rules requiring clearer labels and instructions in the languages of each Member State where the products are for sale. Products that comply with the safety rules will carry the CE marking to show they meet all the requirements set out in the legislation. Manufacturers must keep all related documentation for 10 years.
The agreement paves the way for a faster adoption of less burdensome rules for a further set of product categories including non-automatic weighing instruments, measuring instruments, simple pressure vessels, lifts, explosives for civil uses, electrical equipment and equipment used in explosive atmospheres.
The initiative is part of a general effort to align industrial product rules to a common set of principles thus avoiding sectorial fragmentation and conflicting or overlapping requirements for products governed by more than one piece of legislation. More coherent rules across all product sectors will lower compliance costs for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (IP/11/1385).
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "EU product legislation is now starting to take on a more uniform “look”, leading to reductions in administrative burden and costs. Common rules for industrial products allow manufacturers to have more legal certainty. They can better organise their manufacturing processes, enhance the quality and safety of products and invest in innovation. Leaner rules for more sectors will follow soon, so that the single market will be further strengthened helping businesses to grow. It is this, what we urgently need in the current crisis.”
Streamlined rules for pyrotechnic articles will make life of businesses easier
The updated rules cover products such as fireworks, pyrotechnics used in film or theatre productions, and automotive pyrotechnic articles like gas generators used in airbags or in seatbelt pre-tensioners. The new rules aim to ensure easier market access and a higher level of protection to life and property. It would achieve
this by harmonising rules on their safety and making them stricter.
The new rules will make life of businesses easier:
- Clearer responsibilities for manufacturers, importers and distributors when they sell consumer products;
- Possibility for wider use of electronic means for economic operators when demonstrating compliance;
- More guarantees for consumer safety through a traceability system allowing to track down defective or unsafe products and through clearer rules and improved supervision of conformity assessment bodies;
- National market surveillance authorities will be better equipped to stop dangerous imports from third countries.
Fireworks will be categorised as follows:
Category F1: Age limit 12 years - fireworks which present a very low hazard and negligible noise level and which are intended for use in confined areas, including fireworks which are intended for use inside domestic buildings;
Category F2: Age limit 16 years - fireworks which present a low hazard and low noise level and which are intended for outdoor use in confined areas;
Category F3: Age limit 18 years - fireworks which present a medium hazard, which are intended for outdoor use in large open areas and whose noise level is not harmful to human health;
Category F4: Age limit 18 years - fireworks which present a high hazard, which are intended for use only by persons with specialist knowledge and whose noise level is not harmful to human health.
Member States may increase the age limits where justified on grounds of public order, security or health and safety. Member States may also lower the age limits for persons vocationally trained or undergoing such training.
The updated rules on making pyrotechnics articles available on the market is part of a Package of nine product safety directives (including also the Directive on non-automatic weighing instruments, measuring instruments, simple pressure vessels, lifts, explosives for civil uses, electromagnetic compatibility, low voltage electrical equipment and equipment used in explosive atmospheres) proposed by the Commission and constitute the first directive of the Package adopted by the EP today. The Council signalled its agreement and will adopt the proposal finally soon.