Importing, exporting and transporting fireworks
To import fireworks into Canada, or to export them from Canada to another country, you need an import or export permit. You must ensure that fireworks imported into Canada or exported from Canada are authorized in Canada. To transport fireworks originating in another country through Canada and onward to another country (transporting in-transit), you need an in-transit permit. You do not need to ensure that fireworks transported in-transit are authorized in Canada. This is an exception; all other fireworks in Canada must be authorized. To learn whether a firework product is authorized in Canada, consult the list of authorized explosives.
If a firework product is not authorized in Canada, you can apply to have it authorized.
On this page
- Applying for a permit to import, export or transport in-transit
- Import or export reporting
- Prohibited fireworks
- Providing import information through the Canada Border Services Agency
The following guidance is for anyone involved in importing, exporting or transporting fireworks. For situations not covered here, including exemptions and conditions, consult the Explosives Regulations.
In Canada, “fireworks” also include pistol caps, firecrackers, pyrotechnic smoke generators and other pyrotechnics. You need import, export and in-transit permits for these products. You do not need permits for consumer “Christmas crackers” contain less than 2 milligrams of an explosives substance. Some types of fireworks and similar products are prohibited in Canada. See table of prohibited fireworks, below.
In general, you do not need a permit to transport fireworks within Canada. You do need a permit to:
- use a flatbed trailer to transport explosive articles or equipment (more than 150 kilograms of consumer fireworks and 1.4G UN0321 pyrotechnic articles) (see Application for permit to transport using a flatbed trailer)
- transport non-explosive items in a vehicle that contains more than 2000 kilograms of explosives (see Application for permit to transport non-explosive items with explosives)
However, whenever you are transporting fireworks within Canada, you need to meet requirements in Part 9 of the Explosives Regulations and requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods. These requirements depend on the classification and quantities of the fireworks you are transporting. Classification information is provided in the list of authorized explosives. For more information, consult Transportation of dangerous goods in Canada or the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations .
To bring consumer fireworks into Canada, you must have an import permit. You must also ensure that fireworks crossing the border into Canada are authorized in Canada. Many fireworks for sale in the US are not. Fireworks crossing the border must also meet Canada’s requirements for packaging and bilingual labelling. As a result, members of the public would have difficulty meeting the requirements to bring fireworks into Canada from the US.
Applying for a permit to import, export or transport in-transit
Apply for a permit through the electronic Licence Management System (eLMS). Your application must be complete, including any required fee, or it will not proceed.
There are no fees to export fireworks or transport fireworks in-transit. To import fireworks, see Fees and service standards (annual import permit, single-use import permit and authorization for a specified period).
Import or export reporting
If you import or export fireworks, you must report these activities annually. If you are enrolled in the electronic Licence Management System (eLMS), you can use the system to make your reports. You can also use the form F04-02: Transaction Report (PDF, 1.16 Mb)
Import permit holders
If you have an import permit, you must report the volumes of explosives you imported into Canada.
Export permit holders
If you have an export permit, you must report the volumes of explosives exported from Canada.
The following fireworks and similar products (sometimes called novelty items) are not authorized for use in Canada. You are not permitted to import and export these products. This list is intended as a guide and does not include all prohibited fireworks. For questions about whether fireworks can be imported or exported, contact the Explosives Regulatory Division.
|Cigarette loads or plugs||Small explosive charges designed to be inserted in cigarettes or cigars that will cause them to explode after the victim takes a few puffs|
|Exploding matches||Resemble ordinary matchbooks and are designed to explode after a certain delay, usually at about the time they are in position to light a cigarette|
|Sparkling matches||Resemble normal matchbooks but send out a shower of sparks|
|Ammunition for miniature tie clip, cufflink or key chain pistols||A violent type of blank ammunition made up for use as a novelty|
|Auto alarms or jokers||Designed like burglar alarms but used as a practical joke: when wired to the ignition system of a car, they operate with a loud screeching whistle followed by copious emissions of smoke and a loud explosion|
|Cherry bombs, M-80s, silver salutes and flash crackers||Very violent firecrackers that cause serious injuries every year: they contain an excessive charge of a prohibited fireworks composition|
|Throw-down and step-on like sprite bombs, party snaps, torpedoes and cracking balls||Small objects designed to explode on impact; some of the latter look like children’s breakfast cereal or candy balls|
|Exploding golf balls||Designed to explode and emit a cloud of smoke on impact|
|Stink bombs and smoke bombs||Often made to resemble cherry bombs and salutes, they are used for practical jokes|
|Tear-gas pens and launchers||Resembling a pen, they may contain a mechanism activated by an explosive. Designed for protection against attackers but more commonly used as offensive weapons or as practical jokes|
|Party poppers and table bombs||Designed to project paper streamers or dispense party favours; the smaller ones are made of coloured plastic and shaped like champagne bottles|
|Table rockets and bottle skyrockets||Small fireworks designed to be launched from a table or a bottle and to burst into a shower of sparks or a cloud of smoke|
|Fake firecrackers and other trick devices||Any article that employs or simulates an explosive or a pyrotechnic for a trick or practical joke|
Providing import information through the Canada Border Services Agency
Through the Single Window Initiative (SWI), you can provide all required import information electronically to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). In turn, the CBSA transmits the information to the appropriate department or agency responsible for regulating the goods. This process streamlines and simplifies the import process and significantly reduces the paper burden on the business community.
The SWI allows you to transfer data on border crossings involving explosives to Natural Resources Canada. Natural Resources Canada sends CBSA data and business rules, and CBSA sends Natural Resources Canada validated post-arrival data to process in our electronic Licence Management System (eLMS).
Importers or persons acting on their behalf (brokers) can submit to the CBSA the information Natural Resources Canada requires for compliance with explosives regulations. Brokers can use an Integrated Import Declaration (IID) to submit the information to CBSA up to 90 days in advance of arrival. The Trade Chain Partner can receive recommended border decisions up to 90 days in advance. For import transactions using the IID, the importer does not have to submit an Import Report; Natural Resources Canada receives the information directly from CBSA.
Brokers can see latest information about the SWI on CBSA’s web page.
For those importers not using brokers, Natural Resources Canada continues to support the paper process at the border. The paper process is expected to take longer at the border than pre-arrival IID submission with a Recommended Release decision. For paper permit import transactions, the Import Report must be submitted.
Explosives Regulatory Division
588 Booth Street, 4th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0Y7
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