Company fined for sending unsafe fireworks for sale in North Yorkshire

·4-min read
Unsafe fireworks seized by North  Yorkshire trading standards officers.  Pic from North Yorkshire County Council
Unsafe fireworks seized by North Yorkshire trading standards officers. Pic from North Yorkshire County Council

A company which sent unsafe fireworks to be sold in North Yorkshire faces a court bill of more than £41,000.

Fastline Imports Ltd also refused to tell consumer watchdogs where else they had sent the fireworks so that they could be removed from sale across the country, a court heard.

York magistrates told the company: "It beggars belief that you failed to co-operate with trading standards" and said the fireworks "presented a significant risk".

They heard how North Yorkshire trading standards officers found an unknown explosive ingredient in the pyrotechnics when they seized them in Scarborough.

The "throwdown" fireworks, designed to be thrown on the ground, had a CE safety mark on indicating they were safe but had not undergone safety checks.

Fastline Imports of Little Stanney, Chester pleaded guilty to three offences under firework safety regulations.

It was fined £39,000 with £2,245 prosecution costs.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for trading standards, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “A business that imports fireworks into the UK bears responsibility for ensuring that they are safe and meet safety and labelling standards.

“This company did not complete the appropriate steps to check the throwdowns were safe and then failed to assist the council’s officers in removing the product from the market.

“This is disappointing and irresponsible and the court recognised that in the sentence it passed today.”

The county council said the fireworks contained an explosive ingredient which was different from the one that was listed on the label.

It also exceeded noise limits when ignited.

By law, the company should have carried a conformity assessment performance to show that it was safe before selling it.

But it had not done so.

It had also put a CE safety mark on the fireworks, which was forbidden unless the product had been through and passed a conformity assessment procedure.

North Yorkshire trading standards officers imposed a suspension notice on the product, which forbid its sale or supply. But the company failed to tell the council which wholesalers it had already supplied with the fireworks, so that they could be removed from sale.

Anyone who sees fireworks on sale which they are concerned about they can report them to trading standards officers via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

An imports company has been fined £39,000 by a court after fireworks wrongly labelled with a safety mark were found on sale in Scarborough.

North Yorkshire Trading Standards officers conducted the prosecution against a Chester-based company, Fast Line Imports Limited, which pleaded guilty to three offences under the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015 Act in a hearing at York Magistrates Court.

In addition to the fine, the company also faces costs of £2,245.

The CE mark is used to confirm that goods comply with safety regulations.

Trading standards officers submitted the ‘throwdown’ type fireworks for tests after they were seized in Scarborough, and those checks confirmed they contained an unknown explosive ingredient, not the one listed on the label, and also exceeded noise limits.

The company had failed to follow a conformity assessment procedure to show the product was safe before they sold it, which is require in law.

Despite that, the product was marked with the CE safety mark, which should only be applied once the conformity assessment procedure has been passed.

Trading standards officers issued a suspension notice preventing the product from being sold or supplied but the company failed to tell officers which wholesalers it had previously distributed the product to, meaning a complete withdrawal from sale could not happen.

Magistrates who heard the case said: “It beggars belief that you failed to co-operate with trading standards.”

They also considered that the product “presented a significant risk”.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for trading standards, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “A business that imports fireworks into the UK bears responsibility for ensuring that they are safe and meet safety and labelling standards.

“This company did not complete the appropriate steps to check the throwdowns were safe and then failed to assist the council’s officers in removing the product from the market.

“This is disappointing and irresponsible and the court recognised that in the sentence it passed today.”

Anyone who sees fireworks on sale which they are concerned about they can report them to trading standards officers via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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