Pyrotechnics might be entertaining, but they require many precautions and strict regulations. This article provides information about the rules relating to fireworks in Brazil.
Brazil is the second largest producer of fireworks in the world, only behind China. The gap between them however, does not seem to get any smaller: local companies claim that the excessive import of Chinese pyrotechnic products is weakening the Brazilian industry.
Fireworks are still appreciated in various regions of the country, especially during festivities like New Year’s Eve and Festa Junina. Not surprisingly, accidents involving pyrotechnics increase dramatically during these occasions.
To avoid accidents and further risks, Brazil has strict fireworks’ legislations. The responsible entity for the control and fiscalization of such goods is the Brazilian Armed Forces. The most recent law regarding this subject has been in place since 2000, when a presidential decree updated the regulation of items like guns, ammunition and explosives.
Fireworks are treated by the Brazilian Army as controlled products. This means that the sale, import, handling and use of these products are closely supervised by the Armed Forces.
Most procedures relating to fireworks are very similar to the ones adopted for weaponry and ammunition. The documents involved, for example, are the same. They are:
- Certificado de Registro (CR, or Register Certificate) - Granted for individuals and companies, is valid for two years and can be extended. It costs BRL 500 for individuals and BRL 250 for companies, and renewal costs BRL 60
- Título de Registro (TR, or Register Titel) - Granted for companies and required only for manufacturing controlled products
- Certificado Internacional de Importação (CII, or International Import Certificate) - Valid for six months; it contains different kinds of information from the importer, exporter, description of goods and is needed for every individual import
The CR is needed to perform any operations involving fireworks. This includes storage, sale, export, import, transport, maintenance and handling.
The main difference regarding documents needed in relation to fireworks and firearms is the need of a TR. Microcompanies that manufacture fireworks are not required to hold this certificate. So they essentially need only a CR to operate in addition to all the generic documents required by other entities.
The Brazilian Armed Forces classify fireworks in four categories. Each one of them reunites very specific items, but in general what defines which category a certain firework belongs to is the amount of gunpowder in it.
- Fireworks with less than 0,2 grams of gunpowder are classified as Class A
- Fireworks with up to 0,25 grams of gunpowder are classified as Class B
- Those with more than 0,25 grams of gunpowder, or those who have a pump with up to 6 grams of gunpowder, are classified as Class C
- Fireworks with more than 2,5 grams of gunpowder and those that do not qualify for any class above are categorized as Class D
Class A fireworks can be sold to anyone, including children. People are allowed to use them anywhere, except in proximity to doors and windows located near the thoroughfare.
Class B fireworks can also be sold to anyone, but since they make loud noises, they cannot be used near hospitals, schools and similar locations.
Fireworks classified as Class C and D cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Their use is conditioned by a previous authorization granted by the competent authorities. This authorization is usually conceded only for specific events that are already scheduled.
Essentially, the steps to import fireworks to Brazil are:
- Present application with attached CII to the Serviço de Fiscalização de Produtos Controlados (SFPC, or Controlled Products Fiscalization Service)
- Identification of the goods and possible inspection
- If needed, samples will be sent for further laboratorial analysis
- Customs clearance
Besides the restrictions and rules imposed by the Brazilian Armed Forces, other government bodies are also have restrictions for the storage, sale and use of fireworks. Each state might have its own legislation regarding this subject, but the Army’s conditions must be minimally followed.
In São Paulo, for example, only people over the age of 16 are allowed to buy Class B fireworks. Any stores selling fireworks must follow the rules relating to the storage facilities and additional documentation issued by Polícia Civil (Civilian Police). They must also undergo an inspection before commencing their activities.