Minister Sugden urges public to apply for fireworks licence

Date published: 07 October 2016

Justice Minister Claire Sugden has reminded the public that anyone wishing to buy or use fireworks must first obtain a licence.

Applications for the use of fireworks over the Halloween period must be submitted to the Department of Justice no later than Monday 24 October 2016.

Minister Sugden said: “The law is clear on purchase, possession and use of fireworks - a licence is required.  It is an offence to buy fireworks without one.

“The application is very straightforward and my Department will process them as quickly as possible, although I would encourage those wishing to obtain a licence to apply in good time.”

Minister Sugden also outlined the risks of obtaining fireworks from sources other than from a registered supplier.

“Fireworks must be purchased from a supplier who has been registered by the Department of Justice. Don’t be tempted to buy from illegal sources as you will be gambling with the safety of your family and friends and could also face prosecution. Registered retailers should be easily identified as they must display their licence or certificate of registration prominently at the point of sale. 

 “I would encourage anyone who has any information about the illegal sale of fireworks to report it to the PSNI or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

“I appeal to parents and retailers to act responsibly, comply with the law and use fireworks safely to help reduce firework injuries and ensure Halloween is an enjoyable time for everyone. Fireworks can inflict serious injuries if mishandled so follow the firework code at all times.”

Licence applications and a list of retailers licensed to sell fireworks are available from NI Direct. Application forms are also available by telephoning 0300 200 7881or directly from a registered retailer.

The licence fee where there are less than 100 spectators is £30; for 100 to 1000 spectators is £80 and for more than 1000 spectators is £160.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Explosive (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 came into operation in May 2002 and made it compulsory for anyone wishing to purchase, possess and use fireworks to obtain a licence.
  2. Details on how to apply for a licence, including an application form, can be obtained from NI Direct.  Guidance for members of the public and information on the law surrounding fireworks can also be obtained at this website. You may also obtain application forms from those businesses registered or licensed to store explosives. Information and advice on using fireworks safely and a list of retailers can also be found at NI Direct
  3. Information for retailers regarding the legislation regarding the storage of fireworks is available at nibusinessinfo.
  4. Completed applications forms together with the appropriate fee should be returned to Firearms and Explosives Branch, Room 4.22, Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3SG.
  5. Members of the public are encouraged to pass information about the illegal sale and use of fireworks to the PSNI or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  6. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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