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Interpretation Response #18-0092

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Grand Finale Entertainment, Inc.

Individual Name: James Fish

Location State: SC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 1, 2019

James Fish
Grand Finale Entertainment, Inc.
103 Kenton Court
Simpsonville, SC  29681

Reference No. 18-0092

Dear Mr. Fish:

This letter is in response to your June 25, 2018, letter and subsequent phone conversations with a member of my staff requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the classification of explosives and general packaging requirements for fireworks. Specifically, you describe the following scenario and seek confirmation that the package as described complies with the HMR and if the device would be considered a new explosive:

  • Your company uses 1.4G fireworks (UN0336), that have valid EX numbers, and securely attaches those fireworks to a base.
  • You attach an "initiator" to the visco fuse of each firework, and connect the initiator to a firing terminal that can be remotely activated, allowing someone to fire the device in any desired order.  (The firing terminal requires batteries to function, but there are no batteries installed during transportation). 
  • The "initiator" may or may not have pyrotechnic material.
  • The "initiator" does not alter the 1.4G firework except for attaching the "initiator" to the preexisting visco fuse of the firework.
  • Batteries (9-volt battery and/or AA's) are shipped in the same package, but the batteries are wrapped and secured in such a way that the terminals of the batteries are completely protected and covered.
  • The assembled device is packaged inside a box and has the necessary markings and label on the exterior of the box in compliance with the HMR for fireworks (UN0336).

Your question is, does this configuration constitute a new explosive?

The answer is yes. Based on the information provided, fusing the devices together and to a central control board that could be used to fire the devices in any desired order, constitutes the manufacturing of a new explosive device. Thus, the device is subject to review and approval under the provision of § 173.56. The special nature of your device (only using already approved devices that have existing EX approvals) may make it possible to obtain a single approval to cover a large array of possible fireworks that could be configured in one device.  We recommend that you review the application process in § 173.56 and contact the Office of Approval and Permits (202-366-4511) to see what options may be available to your company.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval