Representing the UK Explosives Industry


The REACH working group, which was mandated by CEN to produce guidance on the application of REACH to pyrotechnic articles in general, and fireworks in particular, has prepared the attached draft guide.

Click hereCEN TC 212 Professionnal REACH Guidance Fireworks V5

The working group will shortly approach both the REACH authorities and the European Commission and present this guide – which concludes that in almost all cases fireworks should be considered as articles under REACH and not as containers for substances (the exception being sublimed dye containing smoke generators).

The onus on determining whether an article falls within scope of REACH rests with the importer of the product (obviously true manufacturers may be importing raw chemicals in quantities subject to the REACH requirements) but may be subject to challenge by the enforcing authorities.  This guide provides a pan-European rationale behind the conclusion that most fireworks are ARTICLES under REACH (despite ECHA’s own guidance) and has been endorsed by many European Associations as well as by BAM (The German authority akin to HSE).

The following PowerPoint presentations were giving at the EIG AGM 2014 held on the 4th December 2014

Click on the title to download

EIG AGM 2014

The Explosives Regulations 2014 (ER2014) came into force on 1st October 2014.  They replace many old explosive specific Regulations (including MSER and COER) and although the layout of the Regulations has changed significantly, the general content of them remain the same.

Two overarching guides  have been published .

The Regulations

The text of the Explosive Regulations can be found here

Overarching guidance

In addition to the Regulations themselves there are 2 “Overarching” guides published by HSE

Safety of explosives L150

Security of explosives L151

Subsector guidance

The use of explosives in educational demonstrations

Be prepared – 12 months until new COMAH Regulations 2015 come into force

New Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations will come into force in Great Britain on 1 June 2015. The main COMAH duties will stay the same as now but there are some important changes particularly on how dangerous substances are classified and information that has to be made available to the public. For the first time, lower tier operators will have to provide public information about their site and its hazards. Both top tier (now referred to as upper tier) and lower tier operators will need to provide public information electronically and keep it up to date.


Steps you can take in the next 12 months to help you prepare include:

  • Be involved in the consultation – get a good indication      of how you may be affected by looking at the draft new COMAH Regulations      2015. Have your say – the consultation closes on 27 June
  • Check whether your COMAH status  is likely to      change (in or out of scope, upper or lower tier)by referring to Schedule 1      of the draft Regulations to see the hazard categories and named dangerous      substances that are in scope and their quantities, and then compare to your      substance inventory. You will need to convert your inventory from CHIP      classification to CLP. Guidance on classification is available at
  • Be aware that all COMAH operators are likely to have to      send a new notification to the Competent Authority (CA) by 1 June 2016;      the updated information includes CLP categories of dangerous substances      and more detail about site surroundings (draft Regulation 6). More      information will follow on this shortly
  • Consider what new information may need to be included      in major accident prevention policies and off-site emergency plans (draft      Regulations 7 and 12)
  • Start putting plans in place for your summary of public      information that will be provided electronically by looking at what      information will be required (draft Regulation 16). The CA is planning to      provide an IT system to host this information, more detailed guidance on      this will follow
  • Review draft Regulation 9 setting out the requirements      and timescales for submission of Safety Reports and consider what new      information may be required.
  • Note that upper tier operators will still have to      prepare public information zone (PIZ) information as now (draft Regulation      17).


In the next 12 months the CA will help you prepare by:

  • Making guidance available for upper tier operators who      are reviewing safety reports before June 2015 on what new information will      need to be included after June 2015. If operators chose to, the new      information can be included in advance thereby avoiding the need to update      safety reports when the new Regulations come into force. This guidance      should also be useful for all upper tier operators to indicate what new      information will be required
  • Publishing a response to the consultation document in      Autumn 2014 to say how we will take the new Regulations forward
  • Publishing guidance on the new Regulations in March      2015
  • Aiming to launch the IT system for public information      in advance of the Regulations coming into force.

Updating the Seveso and COMAH pages on HSE’s website. We will develop the list of FAQs from questions submitted to the email enquiry account

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