This is the mega-holiday season as Diwali is just around the corner. After much speculation about the dangers of using crackers on Diwali, the government has come up with some regulations in place to make sure that the celebrations are not hindered and the environment is safe. While the Supreme Court’s concern for the environment and air quality was laudable, it cannot be ignored that the business of firecrackers is a centuries-old legitimate activity protected under the Constitution of India as the Right to Work. Diwali is the season where we see a number of shops selling fireworks. Fireworks are considered as low-hazard explosives. Its sale is regulated by the Explosives Rules, 2008 framed under Explosives Act, 1884. A license is required for the possession and sale of fireworks.
What are the different types of fireworks shops?
Some fireworks shops are such that they sell fireworks all year round, however, some small shops just crop during the season which may be called the temporary fireworks stalls. The fireworks are classified as below:
- Shops for possession and sale of amorces and sparklers only in quantity not exceeding 100 Kgs.- No license is required in such cases.
- Temporary shops for possession and sale of fireworks during the festival season – A license in Form LE-5 of Explosives Rules, 2002 issued by the District Magistrate is required.
- Permanent shops for possession and sale of fireworks (not exceeding
100 Kgs. of manufactured fireworks and 500 Kgs. of Chinese crackers or sparklers) – A license in Form LE-5 of Explosives Rules, 2002 issued by the District Magistrate is required
- Permanent shops for possession and sale of fireworks (not exceeding 300 Kgs. of manufactured fireworks and 1200 Kgs. of Chinese crackers or sparklers) – A license in Form LE-5 of Explosives Rules, 2002 issued by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) is required.
What are the conditions on the storage and sale of larger quantities of fireworks:
As per the rules laid down in the Explosives Rules, 2008, a maximum 300 Kgs. of manufactured fireworks and 1200 Kgs. of Chinese crackers or sparklers can be possessed and sold from a shop. In case one is looking for the possession of larger quantities of fireworks, the following options are available under the rules:
- Storehouse of fireworks – Maximum up to 5000 Kgs. of fireworks can be possessed in a fireworks storehouse. In order to have possession in the storehouse, one is required to fill in license in Form LE-3 of Explosives Rules, 2008. However, a storehouse is not a store. Therefore, fireworks cannot be sold from a storehouse and no license for a storehouse will be granted unless there is a licensed firework shop as issued by PESO following the format in For mLE-5.
- Magazine of fireworks- Another way to have more than the permissible amount of fireworks is to construct a magazine at a place away from inhabited areas. Depending upon the capacity of the magazine, there are different specified safety distance which is to be mandatorily maintained on all sides. Therefore for e.g. a magazine of capacity 2,00,000 Kgs. of fireworks, 71 meters safety clearance is required to be maintained on all sides. In order to license a magazine, one is required to obtain a license in Form LE-3 is issued in respect of fireworks magazines by the Chief Controller of Explosives of the concerned city.
Though it depends from city to city, the standard procedure involves the following step to obtain a license:
- Obtaining a NOC certificate from the Fire Service Department.
- Getting permission from District Collector or District Police Office.
- Informing the Local Police station and getting permission.
Documents required to apply for getting a license are:
- An application in Form AE-3
- Five copies of your store construction plan
- DD of Rs. 600 worth of DD should payable to Joint Chief Controller of Explosives at a location as specified by the respected PESO office which can be located in any part of India.
- Unique signature of the person(s) authorized to sign correspondence
- The nomination of occupier document
- Recently taken passport size colour photos of the occupier(5 copies) with his/her signature on the front
- Copy of photo having ID proof of occupier
- Land documents
To sell firecrackers both online and offline, you need to follow the same procedure. Know more about procuring the Explosives License and don’t forget to understand the important aspects of the Explosives Rules (Act) regulated by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation under the Govt’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry.