APT logo

FC 101 - What Manufacturers Need to Know

How Does a Manufacturer Apply for an FCA Certification?

If a manufacturer chooses to have its fireworks certified by an FCA rather than submitting an approval application to PHMSA, a manufacturer may submit its application directly to an FCA or, in the case of a foreign manufacturer, a U.S. Agent may submit an application on behalf of the manufacturer. Similar to the approval process, a manufacturer must prove that the fireworks conform to the requirements in the APA Standard 87-1 and have passed a thermal stability test. A manufacturer would apply in writing to an FCA in the method detailed in APA Standard 87-1, and the FCA would assign an FC number.

The application must include:

  • Name, address, telephone and fax numbers of the manufacturer and U.S. Agent, if applicable;
  • A detailed diagram of the fireworks;
  • A complete list of the chemical compositions, formulations, and quantities used in the fireworks;
  • The results of the thermal stability test; and
  • A signed certification declaring that the fireworks for which certification is requested conforms to the APA Standard 87–1, that the descriptions and technical information contained in the application are complete and accurate, and no duplicate applications have been submitted to PHMSA.

You may choose to use the APT Application (MS Word Format | Adobe PDF Format).

What if the FCA Denies a Manufacturer’s Application?

If the application is denied, the FCA must notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for the denial. Following the issuance of a denial from an FCA, the applicant may seek reconsideration from the FCA, or appeal to PHMSA the reconsideration decision of the FCA (see § 173.65(a)(4)(iv)).

May a Manufacturer Submit an Application
to an FCA and PHMSA for the Same Fireworks?

No. The manufacturer must certify that the application has not been submitted to PHMSA and an FCA. Submitting duplicate applications to PHMSA and FCAs is prohibited, and a manufacturer may be fined for doing so.

Must a Manufacturer Keep Records of the Fireworks
Certifications it Receives?

Yes. The certification must be accessible at or through the manufacturer’s principal place of business and be made available, upon request, to an authorized official of a Federal, State, or local government agency at a reasonable time and location. Copies of certification records must be maintained for five (5) years following import of fireworks. Further, the manufacturer must provide the certification record to each entity e.g., importers or shippers, responsible for offering the fireworks during transportation, to ensure they are in possession of the certification record.

Are There Differences in the Way a Manufacturer, U.S. Agent or Shipper Prepares Division 1.4G Consumer Fireworks for Transportation if They Have Been Certified by an FCA Rather than Approved by PHMSA?

The FCA will issue the manufacturer an “FC” number rather than an “EX” number, for example:

FC number

Just as with an EX number, for transportation within the U.S., the manufacturer must either mark the FC number on the packaging, or write the FC number on the shipping paper in conjunction with the proper shipping name, i.e., “consumer fireworks.” For international transportation, the manufacturer is required to mark the EX or FC number on the shipping paper.*

EX number

*It should be noted that for international air and vessel transport, in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions Part 5.4.1.5.6 and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code Part 5.4.1.5.15, it is required that dangerous goods transport document (shipping papers) for UN 0336 or UN 0337 (and for surface transport UN 0333, UN 0334 and UN 0335) must include a classification reference issued by the competent authority (i.e., FC or EX number).

Source: Fireworks Certification Procedures - Compliance Assistance Guide HM-257 Final Rule, July 2013


Point of Contact

Jorge Flores 256.327.4018
FCA@apt-research.com