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. This is referred to in ADR at Section as the Default Fireworks Classification Table.

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 0333–0336.

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

How does the scheme work?

The default system 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 system does not replace the requirement for all fireworks to have been classified by the Competent Authority of a Contracting Party to ADR, and should not be interpreted or used as a basis for 'self-classification'.

Classification by the default system 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.

An application for claiming classification of fireworks by the default system requires submission of supporting technical evidence.  This should be in the form of technical drawings and include pyrotechnic composition data to demonstrate analogy with the firework type and specification for that assigned classification, as presented in the Default Fireworks Classification Table in ADR.  Applications for classifying fireworks that are not already specified in the Table can be classified only on the basis of test data derived from Test Series 6, as prescribed in the Manual of Tests and Criteria.

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

Applying for classification under the default scheme

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

Reference should be made to Section of ADR for additional information concerning the assignment of fireworks to divisions and the notes appended to the Default Fireworks Classification Table.

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Updated 2024-06-12