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Bills and Laws

Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill

Overview

This Bill would seek to restrict the supply and use of certain kinds of fireworks and pyrotechnic articles. An example of a pyrotechnic article would be a distress flare.

The Bill impacts businesses and individuals. It creates a new licensing system which means that:

  • members of the public will need a licence to buy, possess or use certain fireworks,
  • businesses supplying fireworks will need to confirm that the people getting the fireworks either have a licence or don’t need one.

It will be a criminal offence to buy, possess or use fireworks without licence, or to supply fireworks to a person without a licence. It will also be an offence to give fireworks or pyrotechnic articles to a child, or buy them on behalf of a child.

The Bill specifies that certain fireworks can only be supplied to, and used by, members of the public at certain times, including:

  • Vaisakhi
  • Guy Fawkes Day
  • Hogmanay
  • Chinese New Year
  • Diwali

There are exemptions for organised public firework displays and professionally organised displays.

In addition, the Bill grants local authorities the powers to set-up ‘firework control zones’. Councils will be able to restrict the use of fireworks in these zones, although professionally organised or public displays may still be allowed.

The possession of pyrotechnic articles when travelling to or at certain places and events will become an offence under the Bill. This could include certain sports events, sports grounds or music events.

The new rules created by the Bill will be enforced by trading standards or Police Scotland.

Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill as introduced

 

The Bill ended Stage 3 on 29 June 2022


Contents


Overview

This Bill would seek to restrict the supply and use of certain kinds of fireworks and pyrotechnic articles. An example of a pyrotechnic article would be a distress flare.

The Bill impacts businesses and individuals. It creates a new licensing system which means that:

  • members of the public will need a licence to buy, possess or use certain fireworks,
  • businesses supplying fireworks will need to confirm that the people getting the fireworks either have a licence or don’t need one.

It will be a criminal offence to buy, possess or use fireworks without licence, or to supply fireworks to a person without a licence. It will also be an offence to give fireworks or pyrotechnic articles to a child, or buy them on behalf of a child.

The Bill specifies that certain fireworks can only be supplied to, and used by, members of the public at certain times, including:

  • Vaisakhi
  • Guy Fawkes Day
  • Hogmanay
  • Chinese New Year
  • Diwali

There are exemptions for organised public firework displays and professionally organised displays.

In addition, the Bill grants local authorities the powers to set-up ‘firework control zones’. Councils will be able to restrict the use of fireworks in these zones, although professionally organised or public displays may still be allowed.

The possession of pyrotechnic articles when travelling to or at certain places and events will become an offence under the Bill. This could include certain sports events, sports grounds or music events.

The new rules created by the Bill will be enforced by trading standards or Police Scotland.

Why the Bill was created

The Scottish Government has created this Bill to limit the harm, distress or serious injury that can be caused by fireworks and pyrotechnic articles. The Scottish Government believes the Bill will:

  • enhance community safety
  • reduce the burden on emergency services
  • reduce the general nuisance that the use of fireworks can cause