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Do you run a childcare centre or transport company for which you transport children by car? In the Netherlands, you must use approved child car seats. Child seats are obligatory for children smaller than 1.35m. Depending on the size and weight of the child you use a baby seat, a child seat or a booster seat.
You should use child seats in the following types of vehicles:
- private cars
- company cars
- three-wheeler cars with closed sides
Approved child seats
You have to use seats that meet European safety demands. Approved child car seats have a label showing a capital 'E' in a circle (ECE R 44/03, ECE R 44/04 or i-Size). You can find an example of what an approval label looks like here (in Dutch).
The production of seats approved by the previous safety standards (R44) stopped in 2019. You are still allowed to use this type of seat. Seats approved by the new standards carry the number R129/i-Size.
Children taller than 1.35 metres must use a seatbelt. If the belt passes over the neck rather than over the chest, the child must use a booster seat. Find out more about safety and child car seats (in Dutch).
Please note:The technical requirements that apply to child car seats in the Netherlands differ from those of other EU Member States. If a child car seat is already permitted in another EU Member State, the Dutch government may only prohibit its sale in the Netherlands in exceptional cases.
Using car seats
Do you want to transport a child in the front seat, facing backwards? Then you must switch off the airbag.
If you use seats that comply with the i-Size norms (in Dutch), you must transport children up to 15 months facing backwards.
The Dutch Centre of Expertise for Preventing Harm (VeiligheidNL) has published an instruction video (in Dutch) showing how to safely secure a car seat.
When not to use car seats
There are certain situations in which you do not have to use a child seat:
- If you already have two seats in your car and there is no space for another one. In this case, children aged 3 and older can be transported on the backseat. The child should wear a seatbelt.
- In taxis without child seats you are allowed to transport children with a height of 1.35 or taller on the back seat. Children aged 3 and over wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of 3 can sit on their parents' lap.
- In buses and coaches that operate on a timetable and that have standing spaces as well as seats. In this case, seatbelts are not obligatory either.
- If you transport children that cannot be put in a child seat for medical reasons. You can apply for an exemption with the Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR, in Dutch).
- If you transport children in a wheelchair