1. The Committee has considered the instruments set
out in the Annex to this Report and has determined that the special
attention of both Houses does not require to be drawn to any of
2. The Committee draws the special attention of
both Houses to these Regulations on the ground that they are defectively
3. These Regulations re-enact, with amendments, provisions
which prohibit the possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, handling
or use of certain categories of fireworks except under licence.
4. Regulation 4(1) prohibits the possession, etc.
of certain fireworks by a person other than a Government Inspector,
Constable or representative of an enforcing authority acting in
his capacity as such except under licence. Regulation 4(2) prohibits
the possession etc. of specified types of firework covered by
regulation 4(1) except for commercial use for producing special
effects in theatre, film or television. The Committee asked the
Northern Ireland Office why regulation 4(2), unlike regulation
4(1), does not provide an exception in the case of an enforcement
officer acting in the course of his duties. In its first memorandum
printed in the Appendix, the Department states that, as the fireworks
referred to in paragraph (2) are included within those referred
to in paragraph (1), there is no need to repeat the exemption.
As is clear from the Department's second memorandum, the intention
was that paragraph (2) should not be read as imposing an additional,
and absolute, prohibition, but was intended to limit the types
of firework whose possession etc. is authorised by a licence.
As worded, however, regulation 4(2) does not achieve this purpose.
It imposes a free-standing prohibition on the possession etc.
of certain types of firework, and the exceptions contained in
regulation 4(1) neither expressly nor implicitly apply. The
Committee therefore reports regulation 4(2) for defective drafting.
5. Regulation 8 imposes requirements as to the labelling
of fireworks and their packaging. Paragraph (2) prohibits the
sale or transfer of sparklers unless the packet in which they
are contained is marked with a warning message written in English.
Paragraph (3) prohibits the sale or transfer of any firework which
is not labelled in English. The Committee doubted whether it was
intended that all sparklers should be individually labelled. The
Department, in its first memorandum, acknowledges that paragraph
(3) is not intended to apply to sparklers or to fireworks to which
paragraph (1) applies.
6. Schedule 3 contains a table specifying the fee
for a licence, which varies according to the number of people
who will attend a fireworks display. The fee is £30 where
the attendance of any persons at a display will not exceed 100,
and £80 where the attendance will not exceed 1000. The Department
acknowledges in its first memorandum that the latter should have
been expressed to apply where the attendance will exceed 100 but
will not exceed 1000.
7. The Committee accordingly reports regulation
8(3) and Schedule 3 for defective drafting, acknowledged by the
1 The Orders of Reference of the Committee are set
out in the First Report, Session 2001-02 (HL Paper 7; HC 135-i). Back