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New laws affecting airbags - don't be caught out!

Selling airbags and other pyrotechnic devices - just got a little harder.
As a result of two European Union Directives, Government introduced new legislation relating to ‘pyrotechnic devices’, in August 2015.

The legislation is mainly focused on fireworks but it also encompasses ‘vehicle pyrotechnic devices’ (VPDs). Although government had previously consulted upon its proposals, in the form of draft regulations, MVDA was not included in any of the discussions and only found out about the consultation two weeks before the close date. MVDA did manage to rush a response, setting out their views, seeking clarification on a number of points. This was followed on several occasions but no response was ever received back from government. In September 2015 they learnt that the new regulations had already become law, without any response to their queries.

MVDA advised members towards the end of September that new legislation relating to vehicle airbags had been introduced, but there was confusion over which government department/ body would be responsible for drawing up guidelines for industry and enforcement requirements. It was supposed to HSE, but HSE say it’s BIS.

Although no guidelines are yet available, there are some serious consequences for vehicle dismantlers. You can view the regulations here. Do not ignore this, because it is now UK law and there are some aspects that are already clear.

The regulations use the term Vehicle Pyrotechnic Devices or VPD for short and appear to make no distinction between new and ‘reclaimed’ (second-hand) VPDs, meaning that vehicle recyclers fall into the category of ‘distributor/ economic operator’.

VPDs are classified as Class P1 low risk

VPDs cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18

VPDs cannot be sold to a member of the general public unless the VPD is incorporated into a vehicle or detachable vehicle part (e.g. seat, door, bonnet, dashboard, steering wheel)

VPD can be sold to ‘professional’ users, even if they are not incorporated into a vehicle or detachable vehicle part.

When VPDs are sold to professional users a safety data sheet (SDS) must be provided. MVDA members can get examples of pyrotechnic SDS which can be used to draw up their own ‘generic’ SDS.

The regulations do not define what is meant by ‘professional user’ for VPDs. But MVDA are assuming that it effectively means motor traders/ garages/ body shops etc. MVDA strongly recommends that members selling VPDs make sure that these requirements are added into their adverts, T&Cs etc.

MVDA is constantly informing members of changes that affect their businesses and at £10 per month it represents great value for money. To find out about membership visit their website here.

January 2016

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