New Procedures Speed Approval of Fireworks Transport
PHMSA cuts red tape, steps up efficiency for businesses
Earlier today, Secretary Foxx wrote about DOT efforts to improve efficiency in transportation. Recent changes to the approval process for transporting consumer fireworks offer a terrific example of DOT stepping up to meet this challenge.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has revised the process to speed approvals while continuing to meet strict safety requirements. Adding an efficient transport certification process will allow importers and shippers to get their goods to buyers with less delay and less red tape.
By allowing DOT-approved fireworks certification agencies (FCAs) to do a job previously reserved for PHMSA, the new consumer fireworks certification process will be quicker and will reduce some of the uncertainty related to shipping fireworks.
In recent years, PHMSA’s consumer fireworks approval program had seen significant increases in applications, resulting in a backlog of shippers awaiting approval. Last year, more than 19,000 fireworks applications were processed, averaging 200 to 400 applications a week. Approximately 60 percent of these applications were for consumer fireworks.
Delegating approval authority to FCAs streamlines the process, while the credibility of the FCAs --the amended regulation also outlines a set of rigorous criteria required for the FCA designation-- means we can maintain the program's current level of safety.
It's a win for business and a win for consumers. And it's the shape of things to come from DOT.
Todd Solomon works on digital media in the DOT Office of Public Affairs.