Fireworks hit by Brexit supply issues ahead of Bonfire Night

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Firecrackers have become the latest item in the lull of a Brexit supply chain, with one company predicting a 70 percent drop in industry-wide stocks.

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A full-sales company based in Doncaster is warning that there won’t be enough fireworks for the usual Bonfire Night celebrations and said a price increase is inevitable.

He attributed problems within the industry to changes in product certification after Brexit, labor shortages and increased scrutiny on imports.


Richard Hogg, shop manager for Fireworks Kingdom, said the importation of fireworks had become “very difficult and volatile in the wake of Brexit”.

He continued: “Our industry is being hit particularly hard, receiving only 30 percent of the normal annual supply.

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“While we are preparing for what is usually our busiest season, it is nice to see shelves empty at stores across the UK. While we do have some stock, other stores have not been so lucky. We have recently received 30 calls a day from other firecracker shops asking if we have any stock which can be dispatched.

Most fireworks are imported from China and, before Brexit, the UK can attribute a code to a construction site in China to identify and trace explosives as they make their way to British shelves.

However, with the UK no longer within the EU, importers depend on any countries passing through an EU member state’s explosives code.

“Shipping companies are now seeking a £5,000 deposit per container in case EU member states deny our application to import from China through one of their ports,” Mr Hogg explained. Regardless of the route there is a significant way that many UK companies import.”

“On top of the shipping cost, we are now looking at around £30,000 – £50,000 to import a container of fireworks – if we can secure a container in the first place.”

He predicted that this year there would be just 30 percent of the normal supply at Bonfire Night.

“Ultimately, increased import costs and reduced supply due to Brexit have begun to increase the cost of celebration for the consumer,” Mr. Hogg said.

The British Fireworks Association secretary, Lawrence Black, said the situation was “a perfect storm”. He said: “Everyone here is down on orders. We’re getting maybe a third less than what we ordered.

“It is a really worrying year for the industry. There will be gaps on the shelves within the fireworks world. “

Chris Clark, general manager of supplier Big In Fireworks, agreed, saying: “Shipping lines are far behind, we are not getting stock in the country on time.

“As an importer, you can’t bring it in. I don’t think there will be any fireworks left after Bonfire Night for the new year.”

Changes in individual product markings for firecrackers with effect from January 1, 2023 have also affected the stock. Suppliers usually import their products much in advance due to the long shelf life of explosives, when it is intended to be sold.

However, wholesalers don’t want to risk stocking up on fireworks with outdated product labels if they can’t sell them before the 2023 deadline.


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