You can return emergency signals to stores at the time of purchase 

If you are a boater or a professional seafarer, the easiest way to dispose of pyrotechnic distress signals that have expired is to buy new products to replace them at a boating store. Pyrotechnic emergency signals refer to emergency rockets, flares, and smoke.

Emergency signal importers have promised to dispose an equivalent amount of material to that of what customers purchase. Since the arrangements between said distributors and importers differ, agree on the details with the company or site in question before delivering expired devices to them.

If necessary, you can also hand over expired emergency signals to the Border Guard or the police

If you cannot return emergency signals to a store, it is also possible to hand them over to the police or the Border Guard for disposal if necessary. The police accepts emergency signals in connection with weapons and exposives collection. The police may also accept signals at other times, with separate agreement. 

First contact the local authority office and agree on more specific details. Tell them the types of emergency signals you are handing over. Also agree on how and where the handover will take place. You may not transport possibly dangerous emergency signalling equipment, other explosives or weapons on your own. You must talk to the local police to arrange pick-up.

Boating clubs may collect emergency signals for disposal at safety events

If a boating club or other community is organising a safety event in which expired emergency rockets and flares are to be collected, the police or the Border Guard may participate in the event. Agree on the collection arrangements in advance before beginning to market such an event. This will allow sufficient time for security arrangements.

Store emergency signals carefully 

When storing emergency rockets, flares and smoke, exercise sufficient care regarding their quality, quantity, and conditions. The transport of emergency signals requires special caution. Do not send emergency signals in regular post packages. 

Store emergency signals in unopened packages and, preferably, in a locked space. The storage location should be as dry and cool as possible. Do not expose the emergency signals to excess heat, humidity or mechanical stress.

Emergency signalling equipment may only be used if you are in distress

On the coasts, the Border Guard, and on land, the police, may grant strictly restricted permits for training in the use of emergency rockets and flares. When the boating season ends, take the emergency signalling equipment from the boat so that they are not stolen and used for vandalism. 

Every year, emergency rockets left on boats over the winter are the cause of many unnecessary searches in sea and lake areas. The Finnish Border Guard will always report unnecessary or vandalism-related use of an emergency signal to the police, and will seek the operating costs of the units as compensation from the perpetrator through the courts. Even a short search carries a cost of over €10,000.

If you are an agent of an emergency rocket importer

The authorities and importers of emergency rockets have agreed on arrangements for the disposal of pyrotechnical emergency signals. The majority of disposable pyrotechnic material is sent for disposal through responsible emergency rocket importers.

The Finnish Defence Forces’ Explosives Centre in Ähtäri will dispose of expired pyrotechnic emergency signalling equipment as well as certain other pyrotechnic safety equipment based on an agreement with each company. The Explosives Centre receives material for disposal only from importers and the authorities, not directly from private individuals or communities.