Fireworks sold in Netherlands are often unsafe; 25% fail inspections
The quality of Dutch consumer fireworks seems to be slipping. A quarter of the fireworks tested in 2016 did not meet the safety requirements, according to the Environment and Transport Inspectorate. That is slightly more than in previous years, the Volkskrant reports.
Every year 14 million kilograms of consumer fireworks are imported to the Netherlands for domestic use, all from China. The Inspectorate annually tests fireworks on safety and rejects them if they do not meet the standard. Fireworks could be rejected if they fall over while being lit, or release burning parts at a low altitude, for example. Over the past decade between 20 and 25 percent of fireworks were considered unsafe. In 2014 and 2015 the Inspectorate deemed 22 and 21 percent of fireworks unsafe.
Pyrotechnics Netherlands, the interest group for fireworks companies, is surprised by the Inspectorates figures. According to chairman Leo Groeneveld, security checks in China showed much better results this year. "It seemed to show that hte quality of the plants where we as Dutch importers do business, improved. It is disappointing that this now appears not to be sow, because we as industry attach great importance to the quality of our fireworks."
The fact that the rejected fireworks already bear the so-called CE-mark, which states that they meet European requirements, has to do with the fact that the mark is already awarded when the fireworks leave the Chinese factories. After that they still have to be transported to the Netherlands, and during that process things can go wrong, Groeneveld said to the newspaper.