USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #21-0053

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: National Fireworks Association

Individual Name: Steve Houser

Location State: MO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 27, 2021

Mr. Steve Houser
National Fireworks Association
8224 NW Bradford Court
Kansas City, MO  64151

Reference No. 21-0053

Dear Mr. Houser:

This letter is in response to your inquiry received by this Office on May 18, 2021, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the marking requirements for EX-numbers on packages containing consumer fireworks. Specifically, you ask whether the HMR require the marking of EX-numbers on a finished consumer firework device or on the packaging if the device is too small to accommodate the marking.

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 American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) Standard 87–1 A, B, C, "Standard 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.

The HMR do not directly specify where an EX‑number must be marked on a finished consumer fireworks device or its packaging, as described in your scenario. However, as provided by § 173.64(a)(1), after November 26, 2021 fireworks must be manufactured in accordance with the requirements in APA Standard 87-1A, 87-1B, or 87-1C (as applicable), which are incorporated by reference in § 171.7.

Furthermore, under the January 1, 2018, edition of APA Standard 87-1A, section 2.4, finished consumer fireworks must be marked with the EX- (or FC) number on the device itself or the device's packaging if the device is too small.

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

171.7, 173.64(a)(1)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.7 Reference material
173.64 Exceptions for Division 1.3 and 1.4 fireworks