View Full Version : Laws regarding pyrotechnics and fireworks in Sweden

12-08-2015, 06:45 PM
Figured people might be interested in how things are over here in regards of fireworks and other pyrotechnic articles, as I saw there was a similiar thread posted in another forum section.

As usual, all pyrotechnic articles that are sold in Sweden have the regular explosives ratings, where 1.4G and 1.3G are regarded as consumer fireworks, can be bought all year around and stored* without any licenses or permits**. Ranging from simple Sparklers, to 2" cakes and rockets. 1.1G are reserved for proffesionals only, requiring a 154-License, to shoot, build, store and handle.

The governing body responsible for issuing 154-Licenses and testing of pyrotechnic products is MSB, Myndighet för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap. Here all pyrotechnical products are tested to conform to several enviromental and laws concering the effect, explosives rating and so forth, before being allowed to the general public. All products sold on the Swedish market have to go through these tests, which can be quite stringent at times. Effects not allowed to be released onto the market are also tested for, such as firecrackers with only a report. It is akin to ATF, except these only deal with explosives, chemicals and so forth, and not alcohol nor tobacco. MSB also has the jurisdiction to oversee storage and sales of fireworks, to make sure that it all complies with local laws.

Local police departments also have a hand in issuing licenses for pyrotechnical use, as well as supervision when police permits are required. Likewise a permit is needed in order to sell fireworks, which are granted on a yearly basis, meaning that once a permit has been obtained to sell fireworks, they can be sold all year around - so long as the store in question has proper storage permits, granted by local fire departments. Likewise are the rules very strict here, and even small amounts of 1.4G products require a heavy lock, thick and re-inforced walls, explosives signs being posted, only trained personnel can enter and handle the products etc.

*There are laws concering how much net weight of explosive substance you may store without requiring proper storage, I believe it is either 5kg net explosive weight, or 10kg. The explosives classification does not matter.
** Certain 1.3G products require police permit when they either include big salutes, or have a total net explosive weight over 1KG. Likewise if it is considered that large amounts of fireworks will be fired, during a time when one cannot reasonable expect there to be a disturbance to the public, likewise at concerts, gatherings and so forth.

4" pre-loaded mortars were allowed until 2005 - 2006, when they were outright banned due to the many fatalities they caused, mainly by people leaning over a lit mortar while being drunk. Old stock was still allowed to be sold off after the ban, but no further imports were allowed to re-sell to the public. 154-License required to purchase, storage, shoot and handle.

Firecrackers and fireworks that only give a report were banned a few years prior, both due to the injuries they caused amongst underage people but also due to the fact that they were rarely used as they should be. The law states that "No pyrotechnic with the sole effect of a report may be sold to the general public; It is acceptable for fireworks to be sold where the main effect of the product has a report, such as when launching or detonating." Crackling effects are allowed. It is qutie odd to report, however, that salute cakes have been starting to appear on the public market, 1.3G marked and usually having a ring gauge of around 15 - 25mm. There is likewise a sole salute cake, equal to the Thunder King cake in the US, being sold. I cannot vouch if this one simply made it through the testing, or if there is some underlying cause. I do know pyrotechnic laws have changed due to a EU ruling, and this may be the result of that.

Rockets are allowed, but may no longer surpass 75g Net explosive weight. These were also prohibited due to the severe injuries they cause, though through botched testing procedures if you ask me. The sole incident that pushed the weight over in favour of a 75g limitation was due to the injuries sustained by a imported rocket, and not one that had been tested and verified by MSB. It is speculated importers will simply start to add in stronger mixtures so that the usual break and effects of rockets can be sustained, without breaking the law. This will be the first year of the 75g limitation.

Ground fireworks are allowed, permitted they do not break any of the earlier mentioned rules. Bottle rockets, spinning suns, crackling whips, crackling balls, tanks are some of the most common items. These usually come in different effects, but are fairly streamlined from each importer to the next, unfortunately. These are, in most cases, counted as Safe & Sane equiviliants, but some exemptions apply.

Cakes are allowed, to a maximum weight of 1000 Grams Net explosive weight and a 1.3G rating. As mentioned earlier, if cakes fall in under the 1.3G classification, but have more than 1000 Grams of Net explosive weight, a police permit to purchase, store and buy are needed. Some of the biggest cakes available to the general public are 2" ones, usually having around 8 or 12 shots in a single cake. Police permit required ones far outdo these, with, for example, 117 shots x 2". Cakes holding over 200 shots in smaller calibers are also pretty common in this category, both being able to be purchased by the general public and the license holders.

Mortars may not be reloaded, instead are purchased ready loaded. 1.3G rating and are usually sold in packs of 2 or 6 in each package. Same limitations as mentioned before still apply. There are no special police permit products in this category. 3" are also known to be sold by one importer, but I am unaware if this is just old stock, or if the importer has a permit to import and sell 3" mortars to the general public. Mines are also allowed to be sold, producing a flowerpot effect along with a shell exploding above it.

Smoke items are a bit of an odd one, while not permitted to be sold by MSB in at least one instance, these are still generally sold without a explosives classification by at least one manufacturer in Sweden, as they do not contain anything explosive they do not fall in under any pyrotechnic laws, and can be freely shipped without ADR trucks and so forth. They can be operated by anyone, even under 18s, I believe. Ring pulled smoke grenades that are used in Paintball, for example, do however fall in under the explosives classification, and are deemed 1.4G explosives.

Roman candles can be sold freely, usually containing either a crackling effect or simply coloured shots, I do not believe reports are allowed in these anymore, however. Sometimes sold in single packages, and sometimes sold in packages of up to 12 in a single package. Heavy duty roman candles that were akin to 25mm - 30mm have also been sold in the past, but have apparently been banned.

Flares are also allowed, sitting in the 1.4G category and mainly producing blinking flashes, or a long burn with different colors.

Fountains are allowed, and come in wide varieties, usually crackling and a intense whistle, sometimes shooting out coloured shots or having small flowerpot effects mixed in.

A police permit and a 154-License are not the same thing, however. A police permit is a one time permit to fire products that are not available to the public, but still sit in the 1.3G category, and require little to no knowledge to acquire. 154-Licenses are issued by the police as well, after a pyrotechnics course in safe handling of such things are reloadable mortars have been passed. I believe these are permanent, but I am unsure.

I believe that is all, at least all I can think of at the moment. If anyone happen to have any questions or want to know more about anything i've posted, i'll gladly answer it as best as I can.