[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 3 (Thursday, January 5, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 429-431]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-33853]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 173

[Docket No. PHMSA-2011-0315; Notice No. 11-13]


Clarification and Further Guidance on the Fireworks Approvals 
Policy

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
DOT.

ACTION: Clarification.

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SUMMARY: This clarification provides further guidance on PHMSA's policy 
that it will only accept fireworks approvals applications from 
fireworks manufacturers or their designated agents and grant approvals 
only to manufacturers of fireworks devices. This clarification and 
additional guidance follows the issuance of Docket No. PHMSA-2010-0353; 
Notice 10-9, published on June 29, 2011.

DATES: The policy clarification discussed in this document is effective 
January 5, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Ryan Paquet, Director, Approvals 
and Permits Division, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, (202) 366-
4512, PHMSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    This document provides clarification and further guidance on 
PHMSA's Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS), Clarification of 
the Fireworks Approval Policy published on June 29, 2011 (76 FR 38053). 
Specifically, this document provides clarification and additional 
guidance on how we intend to implement our policy with respect to: (1) 
EX classification approvals with expiration dates; (2) applications 
from non-manufacturers that seek to add new item names to existing EX 
classification approvals; and (3) applications from non-manufacturers 
that were denied prior to June 29, 2011.
    In addition to addressing questions as to how we intend to 
implement our earlier policy clarification, this document clarifies our 
policy regarding the transfer of EX classification approvals.

II. Background

    The transportation of an explosive (fireworks device) requires an 
EX classification approval issued by PHMSA, commonly referred to as an 
EX number. The EX number is a unique

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identifier that indicates the device has been classed and approved for 
transportation in the U.S., and is specific to a particular device as 
specified in 49 CFR 173.56(j) and the American Pyrotechnic Association 
(APA) Standard 87-1.
    PHMSA understands that it is a common industry practice for 
fireworks devices produced by one manufacturer to be marketed and sold 
under different trade names. Further, in the past, each retailer, 
importer or distributor, in addition to the manufacturer, applied for 
and received an EX classification approval for the identical fireworks 
device. This practice resulted in PHMSA processing multiple 
applications and issuing multiple approvals for the same fireworks 
device. This redundant and burdensome process did not promote the safe 
transportation of explosives (fireworks devices); instead, it impeded 
the conduct of business for both the fireworks industry and PHMSA.
    On June 29, 2011, we issued a clarification of our policy to issue 
fireworks classification approvals only to fireworks manufacturers, and 
accept fireworks classification applications only from fireworks 
manufacturers or their U.S. designated agents. This policy 
clarification was intended to restate the requirements of the Hazardous 
Materials Regulations (HMR), enhance safety by ensuring accountability 
of manufacturing, and reducing the number of duplicate applications and 
EX classification approvals being issued for identical fireworks 
devices.
    Since the policy clarification was issued, we have received 
questions about how we intend to implement it with respect to: (1) EX 
classification approvals with expiration dates; (2) applications from 
non-manufacturers that seek to add new item names to existing EX 
classification approvals; and (3) applications from non-manufacturers 
that were denied prior to June 29, 2011.
    We have also received questions about our policy regarding the 
transfer of EX classification approvals, which was not addressed in the 
prior clarification notice.
    To address these questions regarding our fireworks approvals 
policy, we are providing the following clarification and additional 
guidance.

III. EX Classification Approvals With Expiration Dates

    After June 29, 2011, only a manufacturer that holds a valid EX 
classification approval may reapply to have the EX number renewed. 
Regardless of who originally applied for the approval, to renew the EX 
classification approval, the manufacturer or its designated agent must 
be the entity who submits an application for renewal and all supporting 
documentation to fireworks@dot.gov. The manufacturer must sign and 
certify that the device for which the approval is requested conforms to 
the APA Standard 87-1, and the descriptions and technical information 
contained in the application are complete and accurate in accordance 
with Sec.  173.56(j)(3).
    All EX approvals with expiration dates held by non-manufacturers 
will expire as follows: Fireworks EX approvals expiring January 1, 2012 
through December 31, 2012 will expire two years from the date indicated 
in the approval. For example, a fireworks EX approval expiring on 
January 1, 2012 will be extended until January 1, 2014. A revised EX 
classification approval will be automatically sent to the approval 
holder on record with the new expiration date. After December 31, 2014, 
the manufacturer or its designated agent must submit the application 
for renewal and all supporting documentation to fireworks@dot.gov. The 
manufacturer must sign and certify that the device for which the 
approval is requested conforms to the APA Standard 87-1, and the 
descriptions and technical information contained in the application are 
complete and accurate in accordance with Sec.  173.56(j)(3).
    Fireworks EX classification approvals expiring January 1, 2013 
through December 31, 2015 will expire on the date noted in the EX 
approval and will not be extended. The manufacturer or its designated 
agent must submit an application for renewal and all supporting 
documentation to fireworks@dot.gov. The manufacturer must sign and 
certify that the device for which the approval is requested conforms to 
the APA Standard 87-1, and the descriptions and technical information 
contained in the application are complete and accurate in accordance 
with Sec.  173.56(j)(3). For example, a fireworks EX Approval expiring 
on March 22, 2014 will expire on March 22, 2014.
    All fireworks EX approvals with expiration dates will expire by the 
end of 2015.

IV. Requests To Add Additional Item Names to Existing EX Classification 
Approvals

    We often receive applications to add fireworks device item names to 
an existing EX classification approval. Only a manufacturer or its 
designated agent may submit a request after June 29, 2011 to add an 
additional item name to an existing EX approval.
    If anyone other than the manufacturer or its designated agent holds 
an existing EX classification approval and it is desired to add 
additional items to that approval, then the manufacturer or its 
designated agent must submit the EX classification approval as a new 
application.

V. Firework Applications Denied Before June 29, 2011

    Firework applications resubmitted after June 29, 2011 by any 
person, company or entity other than the manufacturer or its designated 
agent that were previously denied will not be accepted unless those 
applications are submitted by the manufacturer or its designated agent 
as the applicant. The manufacturer must sign and certify that the 
device for which the approval is requested conforms to the APA Standard 
87-1, and the descriptions and technical information contained in the 
application are complete and accurate in accordance with Sec.  
173.56(j)(3).

VI. Non-Transferability of EX Approvals

    EX approvals are non-transferrable, and therefore, may not be sold 
or transferred. Accordingly, EX approvals cannot be acquired in 
connection with any sale of assets, sale of business, acquisition or 
merger. PHMSA may find a company in violation of the HMR should a 
manufacturer attempt to use an EX approval issued by PHMSA to another 
company for manufacturing of the device. The manufacturer or its 
designated agent must submit an application for a new approval. The 
manufacturer must sign and certify that the device for which the 
approval is requested conforms to the APA Standard 87-1, and the 
descriptions and technical information contained in the application are 
complete and accurate in accordance with Sec.  173.56(j)(3). If 
approved, PHMSA will issue a new EX approval to the manufacturer 
specified in the application.

Summary

    PHMSA's Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS), Approvals 
Office will continue to issue approvals only to fireworks manufacturers 
and accept applications only from manufacturers or their designated 
agents. Consistent with this policy, we will only reissue EX 
classification approvals with expiration dates that have been submitted 
by the manufacturer or its designated agent. If the manufacturer was 
not the original applicant, the manufacturer or its

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designated agent must submit the application as a new application. 
However, we will provide an extended expiration date of two years for 
EX classification approvals that expire through December 31, 2012.
    Additionally, we will only accept applications that seek to add new 
item names to existing EX classification approvals from the 
manufacturer or its designated agent. If the manufacturer was not the 
original applicant, the application must be submitted by the 
manufacturer or its designated agent as a new application. Further, 
applications from non-manufacturers that were denied prior to June 29, 
2011 must be resubmitted by the manufacturer.
    Finally, EX approvals are non-transferable, and therefore may not 
be sold or transferred.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 30, 2011.
Magdy El-Sibaie,
Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-33853 Filed 1-4-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P