Important new European pyrotechnics regulations are being introduced on July 4 2013, to ensure the highest quality and safety of non-SOLAS pyrotechnics products. This includes illuminating rockets, handflares and handsmoke signals.
The standardisation begins - New European regulations for non-SOLAS pyrotechnics
The Pyrotechnic Articles Directive, 2007/23/EC, is due to be implemented into individual country legislation at the beginning of July. The directive is designed to harmonise the laws relating to the sale of non-SOLAS pyrotechnics and set a standard for their design and safety.
Justine Heeley, Managing Director of Drew Marine Signal & Safety UK, which produces the Pains Wessex brand, comments on the new regulations, 'This is a positive move for our industry as it is the first time that all non-SOLAS pyrotechnic products will have to conform to a uniform, high standard across Europe before products are placed on the market.
'Safety and performance are key for Pains Wessex, and as a world leader, our products are already of the highest quality and safety standards. We welcome this move to ensure a consistent mark of quality and compliance across all EU manufacturers.'
As well as stringent testing, the products will be categorised into groups according to their type of use. P1 indicates pyrotechnic articles with a low hazard and P2 indicates pyrotechnic articles intended for use by persons with specialist knowledge. Products will have to be labelled in the official language of the member state and cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Once approved, products will carry a CE mark to prove their compliance.
Pains Wessex’s non-SOLAS products are currently undergoing conformity testing and will incorporate the CE mark from July. These include:
Pains Wessex Para Illuminating Rocket
Pains Wessex Para Red Rocket (non-SOLAS)
Pains Wessex White Handflare
Pains Wessex Day & Night Signal
Pains Wessex Orange Handsmoke
Pains Wessex SOLAS pyrotechnics that comply with the 96/98/EC Marine Equipment Directive are exempt because they already meet defined standards. Similarly, the legislation does not apply to products which comply with the 96/98/EC Marine Equipment Directive (MED). Other products such as signal cartridges and personal distress signals are also exempt from this legislation.
For more information about this legislation, you can contact either your local trading standards authority or one of the Pains Wessex team