More and more illegal fireworks: heavy penalties loom

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This year, Customs have taken more illegal pyrotechnics and fireworks significantly out of circulation than the previous year. There is also a threat of severe penalties.

While 954 fireworks were seized upon importation during mobile checks in the previous year, by mid-December 2022, the number had almost doubled to 1,720. On Tuesday, Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) said, “Do not rely on illegal firecrackers or rockets that are potentially dangerous to you or other people.”

Danger from illegal fireworks
Of 1,215 fireworks seized this year, there is a medium danger. However, they are approved for use in wide, open areas only by those with appropriate expertise. The rest may be ignited only by persons with the proper knowledge. Since they are exclusively goods subject to authorization, neither the import nor the possession or use is allowed without the appropriate permit, it said in a statement.

Cars checked at the border: Trunk full of illegal pyrotechnics.
An essential operation took place in mid-December at the Kleinhaugsdorf border crossing. In one day, 23 charges were filed for importing or possessing pyrotechnic objects. The quantity per car ranged from small amounts to those that suggested more extensive plans for New Year’s Eve – around 200 fireworks were found in one car. About 600 pyrotechnic items were stowed in another trunk.

Threatening hefty fines
Depending on the offence, the threat of punishment is a fine of up to 10,000 euros or a prison sentence of up to 6 weeks.

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