The purchase and use of fireworks are subject to State and local regulations, but their transportation in commerce is subject to the regulations of the PHMSA/USDOT. If you intend to transport any fireworks to celebrate the holiday, be sure you are aware of the applicability of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) and what is required for compliance.
You must first determine if your activity is subject to the regulations. The determination of applicability hinges on one critical question: “Are the fireworks (or any hazardous material for that matter) transported by an individual for non-commercial purposes in a private motor vehicle, including a leased or rented motor vehicle?”
If “yes”, then the activity is not subject to regulation under the HMR [49 CFR 171.1(d)(6) and 11-0009].
If “no”, then the transportation of the fireworks will be subject to the HMR.
It is for those that answer “no” that the PHMSA/USDOT created this flyer: PHMSA Guidance for the Transportation of Fireworks/Explosives, to educate the regulated community about the applicable regulations for the transportation of fireworks in commerce. Regulatory requirements include, but are not limited to:
- UN certified packaging filled and closed per package manufacturer instructions.
- Use of the required HazMat Labels and Markings.
- Shipment must be accompanied by a shipping paper that describes the hazardous material and includes emergency response information.
- Properly secure and segregate the hazardous material within the vehicle.
- Depending on the type and amount of fireworks transported, the following may be required:
- Placards on the vehicle.
- Registration with PHMSA/USDOT as either a shipper or carrier of HazMat. Take the survey: Must I register as a Shipper or Carrier of HazMat?
- Develop and implement a HazMat Safety and Security Plan and conduct In-Depth Security Training.
- Carriers must possess a valid Hazardous Materials Safety Permit. Take the survey: Must I possess a Hazardous Materials Safety Permit?
- Driver must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with the HazMat endorsement.
- HazMat Employee Training is required for all involved in its transportation: shippers, carriers, handlers, supervisors, etc.
Don’t spoil your 4th of July celebration by violating the HMR. Significant civil penalties (max of $175,000/violation/day), criminal penalties ($250,000/violation/day), and imprisonment (10 years) are possible.
Once the show is over, any waste generated may be subject to the Hazardous Waste regulations (RCRA) of the USEPA and your state.
Additional guidance from the PHMSA is available for those involved in the transportation of fireworks or other explosives:
- Explosives (EX) Approvals: Regulatory Guidelines for Shipping and Transporting Fireworks (PHMSA Brochure)
- Fireworks: Variety of Information for Those Involved in the Transportation of Fireworks and other Explosives (PHMSA Website)
Daniels Training Services
Please contact me if you have any questions about the transportation of hazardous materials or the management and disposal of hazardous waste.