Regulatory framework

Pyrotechnic activities are subject to complex national and international regulations, composed​of different types of texts (directives, laws, decrees, orders, circulars, etc.), of multiple origins (Defence, Interior, Industry, Transport, Environment, Labour and Employment Ministries, etc.) and covering very specific fields.

This regulation covers all of the activities of the industry: research, production, sales, purchase, import, export, storage, transportation, use, destruction, etc.

Based on both national law and international law, it aims to ensure: 

  • The safety of persons (employees, public and users), goods and processes
  • National security and malevolence prevention

National regulations

In France, the texts governing pyrotechnical activities are based on three different regulations:

  • The Defence Code
  • The Labour Code
  • The Environment Code

The Defence Code

The elements of the Defence Code relating to pyrotechnics essentially concern explosive material and the safety of persons handling them.

The Labour Code

The texts of the Labour Code relating to pyrotechnics aim to protect persons, notably employees of the companies and facilities handling pyrotechnic products or devices (Decrees 79-846 and 87-231, Order of 20 April 2007).

Decree 79-846 defines the prevention and protection measures to which pyrotechnic facilities are subject, to ensure worker safety

  • Work safety studies approved by State services
  • Safety/protection-equipment instructions
  • Requirements for the design of buildings and installations
  • Staff training and accreditation
  • Operating procedures (raw materials, maintenance, waste, etc.)
  • Isolation distances between buildings (Order of 20 April 2007)

The rewriting of this decree was published in late 2012.

The Environment Code

The Environment Code, notably Articles 511 et seq., defines regulations for those installations classified as follows:

  • Technological risk prevention (Law 2003-699 of 30 July 2003)
  • Procedures to be followed for declarations, authorisation requests and the terms for inspecting installations (Decree 77-1133)
  • Nomenclature of classified installations subject to declaration or authorisation, according to the nature and quantities of the products present (Decree of 7 July 1992, amended, sections: 1310/production and tests, 1311/storage, 1312/usage for industrial purposes and 1313/destruction, etc. Order of 2 February 2002, section: 1311/storage of explosives, etc.)
  • Hazard study for pyrotechnic installations (circular of 8 December 1982)
  • Prevention of major accidents involving hazardous preparations or substances present in certain categories of installations classified for environmental protection, subject to authorisation (Order of 10 May 2000, amended) 
  • Assessment and taking into consideration of the probability of occurrence, of the kinetics, of the intensity of the effects and of the severity of the consequences of potential accidents in the studying of hazards of installations subject to authorisation (Order of 29 September 2005, known as the "arrêté PCIG")

International regulations

Pyrotechnic activities and products must not only meet the standards defined by agreements amongst States regarding the road, rail and air transportation of hazardous merchandise, but also the international packaging and labelling conditions.

Transportation of hazardous merchandise

In terms of the transportation of hazardous materials, pyrotechnic activities and products are covered by:

  • The European agreement relating to the international transportation of hazardous merchandise by road (ADR/European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road), today ratified by 48 countries 
  • The RID decree, relating to the transportation of hazardous merchandise by rail 
  • The IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations relating to the transportation of pyrotechnical materials by air. Grouping together the majority of airlines in the world, this body is at the origin of international safety standards for air passengers and freight.

Packaging and labelling conditions 

With respect to the packaging and labelling of their products, pyrotechnic activities are covered by the following international mechanisms:

  • GHS: GHS, the Globally-Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
  • CLP/SGH: Classification, Labelling and Packaging

The marketing of pyrotechnic products for civilian use is covered by the following texts:

  • Decree 2010-455 of 4 May 2010 relating to the marketing and control of products 
  • Order of 4 May 2010 concerning various provisions relating to the products and mechanisms subject to the provisions of Decree 2010-455 of 4 May 2010 relating to product marketing and control 
  • Order of 4 May 2010 concerning INERIS (National institute for industrial environment and risks) accreditation and authorisation for the implementation of procedures to assess the compliance of pyrotechnic products and to proceed with examinations and tests specified in Article 35 of Decree 2010-455 of 4 May 2010
  • Order of 4 May 2010 relating to the procedures for type-approval, labelling marking, use and handling of explosives

TETHYS®  is well aware of the role of regulation in maintaining pyrotechnic-industry excellence, and is the guarantor of high a level of safety for staff, users, the public and the environment. This is why it attaches great importance to complying rigorously with the law. 

It participates in works to draw up and develop this regulation.

It offers its customers reliable solutions, together with comprehensive information. 

The preservation of this excellence implies that the pyrotechnic community only admits and only surrounds itself with members strictly abiding by the law.

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