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Interpretation Response #21-0041

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Robert J. Howell

Location State: AL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 24, 2021

Mr. Robert J. Howell
P.O. Box 34
Munford, AL 36268

Reference No. 21-0041

Dear Mr. Howell:

This letter is in response to your April 19, 2021, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to fireworks approved under previous editions of the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Standard 87-1.

We have paraphrased and responded to your questions as follows:

Q1. On November 25, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in the Federal Register [85 FR 75680] titled "Hazardous Materials: Adoption of Miscellaneous Petitions to Reduce Regulatory Burdens" under Docket No. PHMSA-2017-0120 (HM 219C). In this final rule, PHMSA incorporated by reference the January 1, 2018, edition of the APA Standard 87-1 (i.e., APA 87-1A, APA 87-1B, and APA 87-1C), "Standards for Construction and Approval for Transportation of Fireworks, Novelties, and Theatrical Pyrotechnics," excluding certain appendices. In accordance with the HM-219C final rule, after November 26, 2021, fireworks must be designed and approved under the standards of the 2018 APA standard. You ask whether existing combination devices—that have been previously approved and issued a valid EX or FC number—will remain valid after November 26, 2021.

A1. The answer is yes. Fireworks with EX or FC numbers that are approved before November 26, 2021, remain valid unless PHMSA takes a formal action to terminate individual or specific groups of approvals.

Q2. You ask whether crackling strips with valid EX or FC numbers that contain greater than 20 grams but less than 60 grams of total pyrotechnic composition—excluding fuse weight—will remain valid after November 26, 2021.

A2. Crackling strips approved under § 173.56 will remain valid after November 26, 2021, as crackling strips exceeding 20 grams of composition are not approved as Division 1.4G explosives by DOT-approved fireworks certification agencies (FCA) and not at all by PHMSA under the 2001 APA Standard.

Q3. You ask how PHMSA intends to notify industry if fireworks approved under previous editions of the APA Standard 87-1 are to be phased out.

A3. If PHMSA determines a need to terminate fireworks approvals, industry and the affected companies will be notified, as described in § 107.713, via a "Show Cause" letter and/or a Federal Register action, as appropriate.

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

T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

107.713, 173.56,

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
107.713 Approval modification, suspension or termination
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval