Requesting compensation for loss resulting from government acts

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Have you suffered damage as a result of something the government has done or decided to do? You can sometimes request compensation for this.

You may for instance, have:

  • suffered loss of income
  • incurred costs
  • suffered material damages

In some cases you can request compensation from the municipality, province, regional water authority or national authorities. There is a difference in compensation for lawful or for unlawful government acts.

Compensation for lawful government acts

An example of a lawful government act is road reconstruction. If, as a result, it is difficult or impossible to reach your business premises, you can suffer a loss. Or you can suffer a loss resulting from rerouting cables and pipelines. In that case, it is possible to ask for compensation (in Dutch). This is called compensation for loss resulting from lawful government acts.

Damage resulting from planning decisions

Does your business property or land depreciate in value, or do you suffer turnover loss as a result of a zoning decision or zoning plan by the government? You can request damage compensation for this planning impact (planschade, in Dutch) to the public body responsible. This is a special form of compensation for loss.

When can you claim compensation for loss?

In general compensation for loss as a result of lawful government acts is an exception and you will have to bear the costs yourself. Compensation will only be granted if you are affected disproportionally, and if you could not know about the measures or the extent of damages. The damage cannot be covered by normal social or business risk.

Compensation for unlawful government acts

An example of an unlawful government act is a wrongful decision to refuse a licence or permit. If you suffer a loss as a result, you are entitled to full compensation.

Claiming compensation

You apply for compensation to the government organisation responsible. If they reject your request for compensation or if they do not respond within 8 weeks you can file a claim with the court (in Dutch).

When it concerns loss in the field of social insurance, public service law or taxes, the administrative courts have jurisdiction (in Dutch). In other cases both civil and administrative courts have jurisdiction, up to an amount of €25,000 (at the discretion of the citizen). Beyond that amount, you will have to appeal to a civil court (in Dutch).

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Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO