Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted the Commission's proposal to make the market for pyrotechnics articles subject to stricter rules by adapting the Directive 2007/23/EC on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic articles. This directive is the first one to be changed out of the package of nine product safety directives that have been presented by the Commission to the Parliament for adaptation (the others concern: non-automatic weighing instruments, measuring instruments, simple pressure vessels, lifts, explosives for civil uses, electromagnetic compatibility, low voltage electrical equipment and equipment used in explosive atmospheres). (see: Product safety improved in nine industry sectors) The aim of the revision is to make the use of fireworks (but also airbags, seatbelts, etc.) safer for consumers in the EU, due to stricter requirements for clearer labels and instructions in the language(s) of each Member State in which these fireworks are being sold. Only products who comply with these rules would be allowed to carry CE marking. Fireworks will be divided into four categories:
F1 - age limit 12 years - for use in confined areas - with a very low hazard and negligible noise level;
F2 - age limit 16 years - for outdoor use in confined areas - with low hazard and low noise level;
F3 - age limit 18 years - for outdoor use in large open areas - with medium hazard and not harmful noise level;
F4 - age limit 18 years - for use only by persons with specialist knowledge - with high hazard and not harmful noise level.
Member States will be allowed to increase the age limits mentioned above.