APA Advisory – PHMSA Issues Clarification for Fireworks Additional Name Approvals

April 1, 2015

SUBJECT:    Agency Will No Longer Process Additional Item Name EX Approvals

We are pleased to report that at the urging of the APA, PHMSA has revised its policy regarding additional name EX Approvals for fireworks.  The notice will be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register, for an advanced copy, click here

Effective immediately, PHMSA will no longer require that a fireworks manufacturer or designated agent submit a new EX Approval application each time an additional item name is associated with a fireworks design type. 

For manufacturers of consumer fireworks that wish to revise or update an item name, PHMSA states that current HazMat regulations do not prohibit the change.  It advises that manufacturers may print a new item name, in any format desired, on any surface of the package.  It is common industry practice to print the EX or FC number on the device itself and PHMSA encourages the continuation of this practice.

REMEMBER:  As always, an EX or FC number, product code or national stock number must be either marked on the package or on the shipping paper accompanying each 1.4G fireworks item. 

Additionally, PHMSA urges that when applying for new fireworks applications, manufacturers may wish to use product codes or item numbers (instead of the item name) to simplify their procedures and any future name change. 

PHMSA evaluates and approves as many as 1,000 applications annually for fireworks devices that are chemically and physically identical with the only variant being the device’s name.  Up until this policy change, PHMSA required a separate EX Approval application for each approved firework (including the original diagram and chemical compositions sheets) each time an item’s name was changed.   This created a tremendous burden on fireworks manufacturers and retailers who rely on marketing to differentiate their products.

In its clarification the agency concludes that changing a product name has no bearing on the safety of the firework or regulatory compliance, something the APA Standards Committee has long advocated.  We thank Chairman Pat Cook and all the committee members for their work in support of this policy change. 

Advisory #2015-7