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Ban on sale of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for recreational use

This information is provided by Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Nederlandse versie
Effective date: 1 January 2023

What has changed?

Do you sell laughing gas (nitrous oxide)? There is a ban on the import, export, sale, or stocking of laughing gas. The aim of the ban is to reduce recreational use and reduce supply. However, professional use of laughing gas for medical and technical purposes is still allowed. The use of laughing gas as a food additive is also still allowed.

Authorised uses

The original uses of laughing gas, such as medical laughing gas, laughing gas intended for technical purposes, and intended as a food additive, are still allowed. The sale of laughing gas for these purposes is therefore exempt from the ban. However, there will be some changes for these users, as the purchase, sale, possession, and handing of laughing gas in gas cartridges to individuals will be banned.

Manufacturers and wholesalers of medical laughing gas must apply for an opium exemption. This is required under Section 6 and 8 of the Opium Act (in Dutch). They need this to be able to perform operations with laughing gas. The small cartridges of laughing gas used mainly in the catering business for, for example, whipped cream dispensers will still be allowed. But these cartridges cannot be resold to anyone.

Exact details of the new regulation

What the changes mean and how to deal with these changes will be discussed with concerned parties.

For whom?

  • Retailers of laughing gas


This change to the Opium Act has taken effect on 1 January 2023.

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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