Fireworks in Sofia - until 2:00 a.m. on January 1, Otherwise - BGN 2,000 FineSociety | December 29, 2022, Thursday // 09:08| views
From BGN 500 to BGN 2,000 for individuals is the fine for unregulated use of firecrackers in Sofia. For legal entities, the sanctions range from BGN 3,000 to BGN 10,000, the Metropolitan Municipality reported to BTA on the occasion of the upcoming New Year's holidays.
Fireworks, firecrackers and any pyrotechnic means of category F2 and F3 can only be used on New Year's Day, until 2:00 a.m. on January 1, or after a prior request and permission from the district administration.
There will be no fireworks at the New Year's show "Stage under the stars" on Prince Alexander I Square, co-organized by the Metropolitan Municipality.
Their uncontrolled use negatively affects small children, people with disabilities and animals, because of the loud noise, the municipality reminds. In Sofia, there are over 5 thousand children on the autistic spectrum, thousands of people with health problems, babies and small children, pets and stray animals who really suffer from the indiscriminate use of pyrotechnics. Every year, animals are injured or killed because of the loud noise, which can send them into a state of shock and cause extreme stress. Fireworks also lead to the release of very high levels of harmful gases and pollute water and soil.
According to the new regulation, ten days before the event (family celebration or other), a form application is submitted to the district administration, indicating when, where and what pyrotechnic means will be used. The regional mayor considers whether to grant a use permit. The ordinance prohibits the use of pyrotechnics in inter-block spaces, around medical institutions, schools, kindergartens and churches.
The changes in the Public Order Ordinance, which limit the use of pyrotechnics on the territory of the Metropolitan Municipality, entered into force on March 1 of this year. The use of pyrotechnic products is completely prohibited in the inter-block spaces, near hospitals, churches, schools and kindergartens on the territory of the municipality, after 17 thousand Sofia residents petitioned the Sofia Municipal Council to limit the use of pyrotechnics. Many discussions were held, including with representatives of the industry, and the places for the use of pyrotechnics were regulated.
The decision of the Administrative Court-Sofia city of November 1 determined part of the texts in the regulation of the SOS to be null and void. In the reasons of the court, it is stated that according to the law on weapons and pyrotechnics, the Ministry of the Interior issues the permits for the use of these articles and monitors the preservation of public order. However, the Ordinance of the Metropolitan Municipality authorizes the mayors of regions and regional administrations as a sanctioning and controlling body, which is where the contradiction comes from. The Metropolitan Municipality is appealing the court's decision and until there is a final decision, the ordinance continues to be in effect.
There are restrictions on the use of pyrotechnics in a number of countries in Europe such as Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Croatia and Slovenia. In the Belgian cities of Antwerp, Hasselt, Leuven, Bruges and Ghent, the use of fireworks on New Year's Day is absolutely prohibited. Big cities in Latvia also gave up fireworks to welcome the year 2023.
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