In order to legally store and sell fireworks in Essex, a business must register or be licensed with Essex Trading Standards. Fireworks must be stored in accordance with the regulations, in relation to quantity and type. The penalties for businesses and individuals breaching the regulations on the sale or storage of fireworks could result in a fine of up to £5,000, up to six months in prison, or both.
Sales of fireworks to the public are generally restricted to certain times of the year. It is illegal for registered businesses to sell fireworks outside of these times without obtaining an additional year round licence. The times of the year when a business may sell fireworks to the public without an additional licence are:
- 15 October – 10 November
- 26 December – 31 December
- First day of Chinese New Year, and the three days immediately preceding (dates vary from year to year)
- The day of Diwali, and the three days immediately preceding (dates vary from year to year)
It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18 years. There are different categories of firework, not all of which can be legally sold to the public. Fireworks must be stored and labelled safely, and customers must not be not allowed to handle fireworks while they are choosing. A Health and Safety Directorate guide to the safe storage and sale of fireworks is available.
Alternatively, a comprehensive list of Regulations relating to Fireworks is available online.