PositionBrief article

Early in 2007, the Council should finally adopt a new directive on the 'placing on the market and use of pyrotechnic articles'. Parliament approved the new legislation in plenary on 30 November. One notable improvement, proposed by MEPs, is the addition of noise to other criteria and age limits for purchasing and handling types of fireworks. This will authorise member states to limit noisy 'bangers'.

In accordance with the new directive, pyrotechnic articles, or fireworks, will have to meet 'essential' safety requirements to be drawn up by the European standardisation organisation (CEN). However, citizens will not be any safer this year as the new rules will come into force only from 2010. This follows a transition period of three years for consumer fireworks and six years for other pyrotechnic articles such as professional and theatre fireworks.

EU Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen argued that the new legislation will free enterprise from unnecessary...

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