ADVICE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF TIME EXPIRED PYROTECHNICS
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) currently provide a limited storage facility for some Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEPs) through HM Coastguard, prior to disposal. Coastguard facilities are very limited and are only able to receive and store small amounts of TEPs from individual members of the public and from small independent fishing vessels.
HM Coastguard does not provide a collection service: arrangements for the disposal of TEPs must be made through your local Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) contact details at the foot of this article.
When contacting your local MRCC you must inform them of the number and condition of the TEPs that you are looking to dispose of. The MRCC will check on its current storage levels and will advise you if it is able to accept your TEPs and will discuss arrangements for you to deliver them to the appropriate storage facility. Not all Coastguard MRCCs have storage facilities, some facilities are located a considerable distance from the MRCC at Coastguard Rescue Equipment Stores and Sector Bases. Equipment Stores and Sector Bases are not manned 24 hours a day, the MRCC will make arrangements for someone to be available to receive your TEPs at these locations at an agreed time.
In some cases where a TEP has deteriorated to a dangerous condition the MRCC will arrange for its immediate disposal, but this will be at the discretion of the MRCC and subject to the condition of the TEP. It should be noted that pyrotechnics are manufactured to very high standard, but incorrect storage and handling of a pyrotechnic may affect its stability over a period of time.
DO NOT turn up at an MRCC or other Coastguard location on speculation that we will take your pyrotechnics. The majority of Coastguard locations have no storage facilities and it is unlikely that the station will be able to accept your TEPs without having made appropriate reception arrangements and you will be turned away.
DO NOT dump carrier bagfuls of TEPs on the doorstep or leave them hanging on the handles of Sector Bases, Coastguard Rescue Equipment Stores or RNLI Lifeboat Houses. Many of these locations maybe unmanned and the dumping of potentially dangerous TEPs is a safety hazard and is against the law. Irresponsibly discarded TEPs may be picked up by children who could be seriously injured or killed by an abandoned pyrotechnic. DO NOT put TEPs in general household rubbish or public litter bins where they can cause extensive damage to refuse collection facilities and may injure persons who come into contact with them.
HM Coastguard does not collect or accept TEPs from commercial organisations under any circumstances. Commercial organisations must make alternative arrangements for the collection and disposal of their TEPs., see Marine Guidance Note MGN 287 (M+F for further details of commercial disposal options).
It is important to note the following regulations and guidance:It is an offence to fire distress-signal pyrotechnics on land, in harbour or at sea for either testing purposes, practice or as fireworks (whether the pyrotechnics are out of date or not).
It is an offence to dump pyrotechnics at sea.
Out of date pyrotechnics should be landed ashore as soon as possible after the date of expiry for safe disposal.
Damaged or out of date pyrotechnics should not be used. For further information please call HMCG at MRCC Humber on 01262 672317