On August 15, 2017, Atlas Importers (Atlas), a South Carolina-based national fireworks distributor, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Florence, South Carolina, to 3 years’ probation and a fine of $50,000. The company had participated in a scheme to import into the United States fireworks that did not comply with DOT safety and hazardous materials regulations. In February 2017, Atlas pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling hazardous materials into the United States.
Between November 2013 and late 2016, Atlas repeatedly imported unapproved fireworks through the Port of Savannah, Garden City, Georgia. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspected many of the shipments and found illegal fireworks that were not manifested on the required shipping documentation. Additionally, the materials were not approved for shipment by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from CBP and PHMSA.