Under the Austrian Pyrotechnic Safety Act, pyrotechnic articles are subject to age restrictions, labelling requirements and require permits in some cases.
These regulations also apply to travellers carrying pyrotechnic articles into Austria and importing them from EU countries and non-EU countries (e.g. Switzerland).
The following pyrotechnic articles may be brought into Austria without a permit, provided they are appropriately labelled and the respective age limits are observed:
- Category F1 fireworks from the age of 12 upwards, which include, for example: sparklers, Bengal matches or lights, Christmas crackers, novelty matches, serpents, cracker snaps, party poppers, indoor fireworks, throwdowns.
- Category F2 fireworks from the age of 16 upwards, which include, for example: double bangers, flash bangers, pyrodrifters, jumping crackers, jumping ground spinners, mini rockets, volcano fountains or spinners, which by their nature are classified as low hazard.
- Category T1 pyrotechnic articles for stage and theatre use from the age of 18 upwards, which include, for example: confetti and streamer effects, theatrical flares (shellac flares), stage flash pots, dreamboat fountains, cellulose nitrate articles, “magic articles” (pyro-wadding, paper and cord), Bengal matches.
- Category P1 miscellaneous pyrotechnic articles from the age of 18 upwards, which include, for example: ignition fuses, lighters and cords, mechanical igniters, pyrotechnic signals (mountain and marine distress signals, signal pins with ammunition, ammunition for flare guns, smoke signals, Alpine distress signals, hand-held, warning, Bengal and magnesium flares) smoke and fog generators, pyrotechnic articles for pest control in forestry and agriculture, seat-belt tensioners, airbags, circuit-breakers.
- Category S1 loose pyrotechnic kits from the age of 16 upwards, which include: loose Bengal powder, loose shellac powder and loose smoke powder.
The labelling of fireworks, pyrotechnic articles for stage and theatre use and miscellaneous pyrotechnic articles (in German or the language of the country of sale) must include at minimum:
- The name and address of the manufacturer or importer
- The name and type of the article
- The age limit (F1: 12 years; F2: 16 years; T1 and P1: 18 years)
- The relevant category (F1, F2, T1 or P1)
- Instructions for use
- The net mass of explosive
Minimum labelling (name, type, category and instructions) is sufficient for loose pyrotechnic kits. Shaped powder bodies ("semi-finished products", e.g. illuminating and comet stars) are classed as pyrotechnic articles and shall be labelled accordingly.
It is not permitted to own or use these articles unless they are labelled!
A permit is required to carry all other pyrotechnic articles into Austria. Permits are issued by the Federal police headquarters and, outside their sphere of action, by the district administrations or municipal authorities. It is not permitted to own or use these articles without a corresponding permit. This applies to:
- Category F3 fireworks: e.g. pin wheels, crowns, crackers, batteries and combinations, powerful rockets, Roman candles.
- Category F4 fireworks: e.g. firework bombs, Roman candles, aqua fireworks, suns, fountains, vertical wheels, fire pots.
- Category T2 pyrotechnic articles for stage and theatre use: e.g. flashes, stage waterfalls, cord and rope rockets, squibs, thunderflashes.
- Miscellaneous category P2 pyrotechnic articles: e.g. fuses, tape-matches, flash shells, modelling rocket motors, hail prevention and starling deterrent rockets and delayed fuses.
- Category S2 loose pyrotechnic kits: includes all loose pyrotechnic kits that do not fall into Category S1.