HC Deb 06 November 1995 vol 265 c557W
Mr. Burden

To ask the President of the Board of Trade when Kanash Ltd. imported consignments of Red Lion fireworks to the United Kingdom; how many container loads were included; what checks were undertaken at the port of entry; and the number of container loads the location of which the Health and Safety Executive is now aware. [41726]

Mr. Jonathan Evans

I understand from Customs and Excise and the Health and Safety Executive that the fireworks in question were imported through Southampton in September 1995. A total of seven container loads were brought in. Existing arrangements do not specifically require analytical tests to be carried out on each consignment of fireworks at the port of entry and none was undertaken in this instance. Such tests do, of course, require specialised equipment and facilities. I understand that some fireworks remain at the importer's leased deport at Chorley but the bulk were distributed to various parts of the United Kingdom. The importer is co-operating with the Health and Safety Executive in providing full details and is recalling all its imported fireworks.

Mr. Burden

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what provision of the Explosives Act 1875 may be enforced by trading standards officers in metropolitan areas. [41767]

Mr. Evans

Enforcement of the majority of the provisions of the Explosives Act 1875 is provided for by the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1989. In metropolitan counties, enforcement is a matter for fire authorities or, depending upon the provision in question, the Health and Safety Executive. The regulations do not, however, provide for enforcement of a number of specific provisions of the 1875 Act. These include, for example, section 31—sale of gunpowder and explosives to children. My Department takes the view that trading standards departments are able to bring prosecutions under this section in cases where the police have not become involved or have decided not to proceed.

My Department draws no distinction between metropolitan and other areas in this respect.