This article is from the Model Rockets FAQ, by Wolfram von Kiparski with numerous contributions by others.
The German explosives legislation is divided into several sections:
The 'Sprengstoffgesetz' (SprengG),
the '1. and 2. Verordnung zum SprengG' (1.und 2. SprengV), and
the according 'Verwaltungsrichtlinien'.
For rocketeers the most important parts are paragraph 27 of the SprengG
and the 1. and 2. SprengV which regulate handling and storage of pyrotechnic
devices. The 'Verwaltungsrichtlinien' are also very interesting because
they define, how the office people will (have to) react to inquiries.
The SprengG divides Pyrotechnic devices into 6 different classes:
- Class I (very small fireworks)
These (eg. sparklers) may be bought and used throughout the year, even
by children. No rockets are allowed in class I.
- Class II (small fireworks)
These are the common end-of-the-year fireworks. May be bought by
adults during the last three days of the year, and may only be used on
31st of December and 1st of January.
- Class III (medium fireworks) and
- Class IV (big fireworks)
may be bought and used only by licensed people (license according to
paragraph 7, 20 or 27 of the German explosives law).
Storage has to be done in approved storage places.
- Class T1 (small technical pyrotechnic devices)
These may be bought by adults and used by people of at least 14 years
(under adult supervision from 14-17) throughout the year. Limitation for
rocket motors in this class is 20g of propellant. That's why German
rocketeers are usually stuck with A/B/C motors.
- Class T2 (big technical pyrotechnic devices)
Everything that is not considered display fireworks and anything too
big to be class T1. For rocket motors this means anything with more
than 20g of propellant AND also clustering and staging of T1 motors.
(!!!). So if you plan to launch eg. an Estes Commanche,
get your T2-license first!
All pyrotechnic devices except class IV have to be approved by the
'Bundesanstalt fuer Materielforschung und -Pruefung' (BAM). In order to get
approved, the device and the contained pyrotechnic compounds have to pass a
number of tests to assure stability in storage, safety in handling and use,
and quality of the products. The manufacturer will have to demonstrate
acceptible quality control practices to be sure that subsequent production
runs of the product will equal the tested ones. From time to time,
additional samples have to be sent to the BAM for quality assurance