Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1962 No. 186 -
Attorney General John J. O'Connell


An out-of-state fireworks manufacturer who desires to ship his product into this state must obtain a Washington manufacturer's license unless his product is exclusively dangerous fireworks intended for public display, in which case his product may be classified for an importer or wholesaler holding a Washington license.

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                                                               December 21, 1962

Honorable Arnold S. Wang
State Representative, 23rd District
2001 Nipsic
Bremerton, Washington

                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 61-62 No. 186

Dear Sir:

            By letter previously acknowledged you requested the opinion of this office on a question which we paraphrase as follows:

            Does the state fireworks law (chapter 228, Laws of 1961, chapter 70.77 RCW) require an out-of-state fireworks manufacturer to obtain a Washington state fireworks manufacturer's license in order to ship fireworks into this state?

            We answer your question in the affirmative, as explained in the analysis.


            Chapter 228, Laws of 1961, codified as chapter 70.77 RCW, and referred to as the state fireworks law, (RCW 70.77.550) is a comprehensive act evincing an obvious legislative purpose.  That purpose is regulation and control of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of all fireworks used within the state.  Regulation and control is effectuated by means of a dual system of licensing.1/   RCW 70.77.305, 70.77.315, 70.77.340,  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] 70.77.360, and 70.77.255.  See, also AGO 61-62 No. 145, a copy of which is enclosed.  The state fire marshal, who is directed to enforce the act (RCW 70.77.250), has the power to issue licenses for the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, use and transportation of all fireworks in this state (RCW 70.77.305).  Any person desiring to engage in these activities must apply to that officer for a license, (RCW 70.77.315).  The regulating influence of the license provisions insures compliance by manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and others, with requirements pertaining to classification (RCW 70.77.385), labeling and marking (RCW 70.77.390), safety devices (RCW 70.77.400), storage facilities (RCW 70.77.420, 70.77.425), and transportation (RCW 70.77.470, 70.77.500).


            The state fireworks law does not specifically indicate that out-of-state fireworks manufacturers are subject to the manufacturer's license requirements.  However, RCW 70.77.475 provides that:

            "The sale,transportation, possession, or discharge ofunclassified fireworks is prohibited."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            And, RCW 70.77.385 provides:

            "No fireworks items shall be sold, offered for sale, discharged, ortransported within the state without first having been classified and registered by the state fire marshal . . .  Classification shall be limited to the products of licensedmanufacturers excepting only fireworks articles classified by this chapter as dangerous fireworks intended and used for public fireworks displays which may beclassified for licensed manufacturers, importers and/or wholesalers."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            Thus, classification by the state fire marshal is a prerequisite to the lawful transportation of fireworks in this state, and only the products of licensedmanufacturers may be classified (except in the case of dangerous fireworks intended and used for public fireworks displays).

            Accordingly, out-of-state manufacturers who ship fireworks into this state are within the scope of the manufacturer's license requirements of the state fireworks law, unless they deal exclusively with dangerous fireworks intended and used for public fireworks displays.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

                                                         ***   FOOTNOTES   ***

1/One desiring to perform an activity regulated by the act must obtain a permit from local authorities, RCW 70.77.255, 70.77.260, but only those who have been issued a license by the state fire marshal are eligible for a permit, RCW 70.77.275, 70.77.300.