Sat, Dec 06, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Revised firecracker law wins praise from officials

BY Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of the Interior and National Fire Agency officials are pleased with the Firecracker Management Regulation (爆竹煙火管理條例) which was passed by the legislature on Thursday night.

"Local governments will regulate the time, place, type and method of firecracker detonations. In addition, before the next Lunar New Year, the appropriate agencies will enforce the inspection of underground firecracker factories," said Chen Wu-hsiung (陳武雄), the agency's deputy director-general.

The new regulation requires firecracker factory owners to purchase public-safety insurance policies in order to offer more protection to the public. It also aims to protect children's safety.

"The law requires parental supervision when children under the age of 12 set off firecrackers," the ministry said.

The sale of dangerous explosives to children under the age of 12 is also banned.

"Those who violate this regulation will be liable to fines ranging from NT$30,000 to NT$150,000," the agency said.

Illegal firecrackers confiscated by authorities will be destroyed.

"Once all the details of such products or materials have been recorded and photographed, the confiscated items will be destroyed," the agency said.

The agency is encouraging the public to report the underground production of firecrackers. The Council of Labor Affairs has a reporting hotline (02-85902756) and informants whose tips lead to an arrest would be eligible for a reward ranging from NT$10,000 to NT$50,000.

The new law also requires product licenses and labels.

"All secondary firecracker processing must be approved and licensed. In addition, all products have to be labeled before being sold. Previously, those who violated this regulation only received fines as a penalty, but the new law asks for jail sentences up to three years," the agency said.

"All legal firecracker manufacturers will have to renew their licenses within six months of the law taking effect," the agency said.

The agency said the regulation will be implemented in the near future, but it did not give a date.

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