EMA head calls for clearer fireworks laws

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EMA managing director Hayden Romano
FILE PHOTO

EMA managing director Hayden Romano has said there needs to be clearer legislation about where and when fireworks can be used, as well as a move to noiseless fireworks.

He is calling on government to consider these recommendations in 2021.

Romano said he hoped that since all celebrations this year have been low-key, the same could happen for the new year. But he said he had noted media reports of increased sales of fireworks. He added, however, “We are using our social media to educate people on the effect of noise, especially on older people, babies and children, and animals.

“People are really supposed to get approval from the police and from the various regional corporations of where they can discharge fireworks, and really you’re not supposed to be doing it in residential neighbourhoods, based on the Explosive Act. But it’s very difficult to enforce that law.”

Romano said the EMA had done an online survey in September and made recommendations to the government based on the results.

“We would like the government to look into banning noisy fireworks and us looking more towards noiseless fireworks.

Fireworks . Photo by Roger Jacobs.

“Another recommendation is that we also limit when and where fireworks take place, and we try to enforce that. What was really needed, he said, was clearer legislation “stating the time you could do it, who can do it, and where you can do it.” Even when it comes to buying fireworks, he said, “We don’t think it should be available for any and anybody to purchase.

“But hopefully that will come in 2021. I’m hoping in the new year it will be something the government will consider, because at this point in time they didn’t get a chance to look at the matter.”

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, when asked how fireworks dealers were getting foreign exchange to import fireworks, said that topic fell under the purview of the Minister of Finance.

“Matters of foreign exchange (are) a matter for Central Bank and the Finance Ministry. I’m not prepared to give an opinion on it.”

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