RoSPA Safer Fireworks

Licensing & LegislationLicensing & Legislation

Northern Ireland - Applying for a licence

The change in the Northern Ireland fireworks legislation means that fireworks cannot be bought without a licence. The only exceptions will be sparklers and indoor fireworks.

To fire any type of outdoor fireworks (categories 2, 3 or 4) you have to apply to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a licence. The licence costs from £30 and the purchaser will have to specify who is going to fire the fireworks.

A copy of the explanatory notes and licence form for category 2 fireworks can be downloaded below.

Different Fireworks Categories

Category 1

Fireworks classified as category 1 are indoor fireworks. These can be sold without a licence.

Category 2

Category 2 fireworks are the type on sale to the general public. These can only be sold under licence and are suitable for garden type displays. Some sparklers also come under category 2, but these can be bought without a licence.

Category 3

Category 3 fireworks are normally only licensed for use by people with proven experience. For information on licensing, contact the DOJ.

Category 4Click here to return to the top of the page

Category 4 fireworks are only licensed for use by a recognised pyrotechnician. Category 4 fireworks must not be sold to the general public.

The legal age for buying fireworks in Northern Ireland is 18.

To eliminate the risk of sales to those without a licence, retailers and wholesalers must record licence details on those who sales are made to. This information must be made available for audit. For further information on licensing or to apply for a licence, contact the DOJ at or Tel: 028 9052 0057.

RoSPA supports the development of a UK wide Fireworks Display Registration Scheme. RoSPA does not support the call for a complete ban on the sale of fireworks to the public. A ban would be likely to encourage the manufacture of fireworks at home, the import of fireworks by the public travelling abroad and a black market for fireworks.


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