Fireworks legislation warning for retailers

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Retailers planning to sell fireworks over the Halloween period are reminded to be wary of legislation regarding storage and sales.

It is against the law to sell fireworks or sparklers to anyone under the age of 18. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has recommended that retailers operate a strict ‘No ID No Sale’ policy to ensure that they do not sell to minors.

Retailers must also display a sign where their fireworks are displayed which clearly states that it is illegal to sell to under-18s and for under-18s to possess adult fireworks. The maximum penalty for selling fireworks to an underage person is a £5,000 fine or six months imprisonment.

Retailers wishing to sell fireworks during the permitted dates must be registered with their County Council. The annual fee for this is £103 for new applicants and £51 for renewals. Retailers can contact their local Trading Standards office to register or to obtain a licence for selling fireworks outside of holiday periods – although this is significantly more expensive (£500).

It is also vital that store owners conduct a risk assessment, taking into account how fires could start and spread, along with what they need to protect themselves, staff and customers in the event of a fire.

Further information on how to conduct a proper risk assessment can be found in a guide published by the Health and Safety Executive. 

The ACS has also published a compliance guide with the permitted dates for selling fireworks. 

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