ASFL or American Fireworks Standards Laboratory is an industry funded testing organization for manufacturers of 1.4G consumer fireworks. AFSL was established in March 1989 to address concerns that an unacceptably high percentage of fireworks manufactured in China failed to comply with the U.S. performance and labeling requirements.
AFSL established a China Fireworks Quality Improvement Program that consists of the following elements:
AFSL developed voluntary standards for twelve categories of consumer fireworks devices. The standards were developed and are continuously monitored by a Standards Committee, consisting of representatives of the fireworks industry, federal and state regulatory authorities, consumers, and technical experts. The AFSL standards incorporate all federal CPSC and Department of Transportation requirements for consumer fireworks, and additional provisions developed by the Standards Committee to improve the safety of the products.
AFSL has reached an accord with factories, trading companies and shippers in China to implement a Quality Improvement Program (QIP) for consumer fireworks. Under the program, new product prototypes may be submitted to AFSL for evaluation, and factories receive information, training and technical assistance in producing fireworks that comply with the AFSL voluntary standards. Participating factories also are required to implement quality control procedures and in-process testing to ensure that complying fireworks are being produced consistently.
A U.S. importer, through his China shipping agent or factory, may request that fireworks be tested by AFSL prior to shipment to the United States. Before a shipment is certified, it is tested by an independent, internationally recognized testing laboratory under contract to AFSL. The laboratory randomly selects samples from the shipment and tests them for compliance with all CPSC mandatory requirements and additional AFSL voluntary provisions. If the sample passes all requirements, an AFSL certification sticker is applied to each shipping carton in the tested lot. The certification stickers are tightly controlled by AFSL to ensure that they are applied to properly certified merchandise only. Fireworks manufactured in the United States also may be certified under the AFSL program at the request of the U.S. manufacturer.