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UN default scheme for fireworks

The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) contains a default system for the classification of fireworks.

What’s covered by the scheme?

Fireworks in this context are considered to be ‘pyrotechnic articles for entertainment purposes’ as defined in ADR and are expected to be assigned, on classification, to UN Nos 0333–0337.

Pyrotechnic articles assigned to other UN numbers and pyrotechnic substances are not included in the default scheme.

How does the scheme work?

The default scheme lists fireworks classified according to type. The classifications are those agreed by the UN Sub Committee on Dangerous Goods, and are awarded where information from specific UN tests or Competent Authority Documents are not available.

In practice, it is applied to most imported fireworks. The default system may also be used at HSE’s discretion for fireworks manufactured, assembled or modified in Great Britain.

The default list does not replace the requirement for HSE to classify all individual fireworks, and should not be used as a basis for ‘self classification’.

Classification by default may be claimed where test results are not available or where no satisfactory documentary evidence of classification in the country of manufacture can be obtained.

Classification assigned on the basis of test results will take precedence over classification assigned under the default system.

Where the default system is used, applicants may be asked to demonstrate that the fireworks, as packaged, are safe to convey by satisfactorily undergoing Test Series 4(b)(ii) 12 metre Drop Test, as prescribed in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Applying for classification under the default scheme

Complete the appropriate application form and submit, with evidence, to HSE for agreement.

Extract from ADR

Paragraph 2.2.1.1.7 extracted from of the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).

2.2.1.1.7           Assignment of fireworks to divisions

2.2.1.1.7.1         Fireworks shall normally be assigned to divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 on the basis of test data derived from Test Series 6 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria.  However, since the range of such articles is very extensive and the availability of test facilities may be limited, assignment to divisions may also be made in accordance with the procedure in 2.2.1.1.7.2.

2.2.1.1.7.2         Assignment of fireworks to UN Nos 0333, 0334, 0335 and 0336 may be made on the basis of analogy, without the need for Test Series 6 testing, in accordance with the default fireworks classification table in 2.2.1.1.7.5.  Such assignment shall be made with the agreement of the competent authority.  Items not specified in the table shall be classified on the basis of test data derived from Test Series 6.

NOTE 1: The addition of other types of fireworks to column 1 of the table in 2.2.1.1.7.5 shall only be made on the basis of full test data submitted to the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods for consideration.

NOTE 2: Test data derived by competent authorities which validates, or contradicts the assignment of fireworks specified in column 4 of the table in 2.2.1.1.7.5 to divisions in column 5 should be submitted to the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods for information.

2.2.1.1.7.3         Where fireworks of more than one division are packed in the same package, they shall be classified on the basis of the most dangerous division unless test data derived from Test Series 6 indicate otherwise.

2.2.1.1.7.4         The classification shown in the table in 2.2.1.1.7.5 applies only for articles packed in fibreboard boxes (4G).

2.2.1.1.7.5         Default fireworks classification table

NOTE 1: References to percentages in the table, unless otherwise stated, are to the mass of all pyrotechnic composition (eg rocket motors, lifting charge, bursting charge and effect charge).

NOTE 2: “Flash composition” in this table refers to pyrotechnic substances in powder form or as pyrotechnic units as presented in the fireworks, that are used to produce an aural effect, or used as a bursting charge or lifting charge, unless the time taken for the pressure rise is demonstrated to be more than 8 ms for 0.5 g of pyrotechnic substance in the HSL Flash Composition Test in Appendix 7 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria.

NOTE 3: Dimensions in mm refer to:

This table contains a list of firework classifications which may be used in the absence of Test Series 6 data (see 2.2.1.1.7.2)

List of firework classifications which may be used in the absence of Test Series 6 data (see 2.2.1.1.7.2)
Type Includes/Synonym: Definition Specification Classification
Shell, spherical or cylindrical Spherical display shell: aerial shell, colour shell, dye shell, multi-break shell, multi-effect shell, nautical shell, parachute shell, smoke shell, star shell; report shell: maroon salute, sound shell, thunderclap, aerial shell kit Device with or without propellant charge, with delay fuse and bursting charge, pyrotechnic unit(s) or loose pyrotechnic composition and designed to be projected from a mortar All report shells 1.1G
Colour shell: ≥ 180 mm 1.1G
Colour shell: < 180 mm with > 25% flash composition, as loose powder and/or report effects 1.1G
Colour shell: < 180 mm with ≤ 25% flash composition, as loose powder and/or report effects 1.3G
Colour shell: ≤ 50 mm, or ≤ 60 g pyrotechnic composition, with ≤ 2% flash composition as loose powder and/or report effects 1.4G
Peanut shell Device with two or more spherical aerial shells in a common wrapper propelled by the same propellant charge with separate external delay fuses The most hazardous spherical aerial shell determines the classification
Preloaded mortar, shell in mortar Assembly comprising a spherical or cylindrical shell inside a mortar from which the shell is designed to be projected All report shells 1.1G
Colour shell: ≥ 180 mm 1.1G
Colour shell: > 25% flash composition as loose powder and/or report effects 1.1G
Colour shell: > 50 mm and < 180 mm

1.2G

Colour shell: ≤ 50 mm, or ≤ 60 g pyrotechnic composition, with ≤ 25% flash composition as loose powder and/or report effects 1.3G
Shell, spherical or cylindrical (cont’d) Shell or shells (spherical)
(Reference to percentage for shell of shells are to the gross mass of the fireworks article)
Device without propellant charge, with delay fuse and bursting charge, containing report shells and inert materials and designed to be projected from a mortar > 120 mm 1.1G
Device without propellant charge, with delay fuse and bursting charge, containing report shells ≤ 25 g flash composition per report unit, with ≤ 33% flash composition and ≥ 60% inert materials and designed to be projected from a mortar ≤ 120 mm 1.3G
Device without propellant charge, with delay fuse and bursting charge, containing colour shells and/or pyrotechnic units and designed to be projected from a mortar > 300 mm 1.1G
Device without propellant charge, with delay fuse and bursting charge, containing colour shells ≤ 70 mm and/or pyrotechnical units, with ≤ 25% flash composition and ≤ 60% pyrotechnic composition and designed to be projected from a mortar > 200 mm and ≤ 300 mm 1.3G
Device with propellant charge, with delay fuse and bursting charge, containing colour shells ≤ 70 mm and/or pyrotechnic units, with ≤ 25% flash composition and ≤ 60% pyrotechnic composition and designed to be projected from a mortar ≤ 200 mm 1.3G
Battery /
combination
Barrage, bombardos, cakes, finale box, flowerbed, hybrid, multiple tubes, shell cakes, banger batteries, flash banger batteries Assembly including several elements either containing the same type or several types each corresponding to one of the types of fireworks listed in this table, with one or two points of ignition The most hazardous firework type determines the classification
Roman candle Exhibition candle, candle, bombettes Tube containing a series of pyrotechnic units consisting of alternate pyrotechnic composition, propellant charge, and transmitting fuse ≥ 50 mm inner diameter, containing flash composition, or < 50 mm with > 25% flash composition 1.1G
≥ 50 mm inner diameter, containing no flash composition 1.2G
< 50 mm inner diameter and ≤ 25% flash composition 1.3G
≤ 30 mm inner diameter, each pyrotechnic unit ≤ 25g and ≤ 5% flash composition 1.4G
Shot tube Single shot Roman candle, small preloaded mortar Tube containing a pyrotechnic unit consisting of pyrotechnic composition, propellant charge with or without transmitting fuse ≤ 30 mm inner diameter and pyrotechnic unit > 25 g, or > 5% and ≤ 25% flash composition 1.3G
≤ 30 mm inner diameter pyrotechnic unit ≤ 25 g and ≤ 5% flash composition 1.4G
Rocket Avalanche rocket, signal rocket, whistling rocket, bottle rocket, sky rocket, missile type rocket, table rocket Tube containing pyrotechnic composition and / or pyrotechnic units, equipped with stick(s) or other means for stabilisation of flight, and designed to be propelled into the air Flash composition effects only 1.1G
Flash composition > 25% of the pyrotechnic composition 1.1G
> 20 g pyrotechnic composition and flash composition ≤ 25% 1.3G
≤ 20 g pyrotechnic composition, black powder bursting charge and ≤ 0.13 g flash composition per report and ≤ 1 g in total 1.4G
Mine Pot-a-feu, ground mine, bag mine, cylinder mine Tube containing propellant charge and pyrotechnic units and designed to be placed on the ground or to be fixed in the ground.  The principal effect is ejection of all the pyrotechnic units in a single burst producing a widely dispersed visual and/or aural effect in the air or:

Cloth or paper bag or cloth or paper cylinder containing propellant charge and pyrotechnic units, designed to be placed in a mortar and to function as a mine

> 25% flash composition, as loose powder and/or report effects 1.1G
≥ 180 mm and ≤ 25% flash composition, as loose powder and/or report effects 1.1G
< 180 mm and ≤ 25% flash composition, as loose powder and/or report effects 1.3G
≤ 150 g pyrotechnic composition, containing ≤ 5% flash composition as loose powder and/or report effects.  Each pyrotechnic unit ≤ 25 g, each report effect < 2 g; each whistle, if any ≤ 3 g 1.4G
Fountain Volcanoes, gerbs, showers. Lances, Bengal fire, flitter sparkle, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, illuminating torch Non-metallic case containing pressed or consolidated pyrotechnic composition producing sparks and flame ≥ 1 kg pyrotechnic composition 1.3G
< 1 kg pyrotechnic composition 1.4G
Sparkler Handheld sparklers, non-handheld sparklers, wire sparklers Rigid wire partially coated (along one end) with slow burning pyrotechnic composition with or without an ignition tip Perchlorate based sparklers: > 5 g per item or > 10 items per pack 1.3G
Perchlorate based sparklers: ≤ 5 g per item and ≤ 10 items per pack;
Nitrate based sparklers: ≤ 30 g per item
1.4G
Bengal stick Dipped stick Non-metallic stick partially coated (along one end) with slow-burning pyrotechnic composition and designed to be held in the hand Perchlorate based items: > 5 g per item or > 10 items per pack 1.3G
Perchlorate based items: ≤ 5 g per item and ≤ 10 items per pack; nitrate based items: ≤ 30 g per item 1.4G
Low hazard fireworks and novelties Table bombs, throwdowns, crackling granules, smokes, fog, snakes, glow worm, serpents, snaps, party poppers Device designed to produce very limited visible and/or audible effect which contains small amounts of pyrotechnic and/or explosive composition Throwdowns and snaps may contain up to 1.6 mg of silver fulminate; snaps and party poppers may contain up to 16 mg of potassium chlorate/red phosphorous mixture; other articles may contain up to 5 g of pyrotechnic composition, but no flash composition 1.4G
Spinner Aerial spinner, helicopter, chaser, ground spinner Non-metallic tube or tubes containing gas or sparkle-producing pyrotechnic composition, with or without noise producing composition, with or without aerofoils attached Pyrotechnic composition per item > 20 g, containing ≤ 3% flash composition as report effects, or whistle composition  ≤ 5 g 1.3G
Pyrotechnic composition per item ≤ 20 g, containing ≤ 3% flash composition as report effects, or whistle composition ≤ 5 g 1.4G
Wheels Catherine wheels, Saxon Assembly including drivers containing pyrotechnic composition and provided with a means of attaching it to a support so that it can rotate ≥ 1 kg total pyrotechnic composition, no report effect, each whistle (if any) ≤ 25 g and ≤ 50 g whistle composition per wheel 1.3G
< 1 kg total pyrotechnic composition, no report effect, each whistle (if any) ≤ 5 g and ≤ 10 g whistle composition per wheel 1.4G
Aerial wheel Flying Saxon, UFOs, rising crown Tubes containing propellant charges and sparks-flame and/or noise producing pyrotechnic compositions, the tubes being fixed to a supporting ring > 200 g total pyrotechnic composition or > 60 g pyrotechnic composition per driver, ≤ 3% flash composition as report effects, each whistle (if any) ≤ 25 g and ≤ 50 g whistle composition per wheel 1.3G
≤ 200 g total pyrotechnic composition and ≤ 60 g pyrotechnic composition per driver, ≤ 3% flash composition as report effects, each whistle (if any) ≤ 5 g and ≤ 10 g whistle composition per wheel 1.4G
Selection pack Display selection box, display selection pack, garden selection box, indoor selection box; assortment A pack of more than one type each corresponding to one of the types of fireworks listed in this table The most hazardous firework type determines the classification
Firecracker Celebration cracker, celebration roll, string cracker Assembly of tubes (paper or cardboard) linked by a pyrotechnic fuse, each tube intended to produce an aural effect Each tube ≤ 140 mg of flash composition or ≤ 1 g black powder 1.4G
Banger Salute, flash banger, lady cracker Non-metallic tube containing report composition intended to produce an aural effect > 2 g flash composition per item 1.1G
≤ 2 g flash composition per item and ≤ 10 g per inner packaging 1.3G
≤ 1 g flash composition per item and ≤ 10 g per inner packaging or ≤ 10 g black powder per item 1.4G
Updated 2015-08-12