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Businesses in the Netherlands have to deal with environmental regulations concerning such issues as noise, energy, waste, air and soil quality. The Dutch Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit) determines which notifications and permits are necessary. It depends on the classification of your company: ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’.
Category A: your company has no or negligible impact on the environment
You must comply with the general rules of the Activities Decree. You don't need to submit an environmental management notification or to apply for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects (omgevingsvergunning).This applies for instance to office-based firms, banks, various care institutions, GP practices and playgroups.
Category B: your company’s environmental impact is substantial
You are subject to the Activities Decree and must notify the municipal authority of your commercial activities. You must submit the notification when you set up, change or expand your business. This applies to various activities, such as waste water management, agricultural activities, some industrial processes, transport, storage and transfer of goods.
Joint notification and permit application
If might be that you not only have to notify the authorities about your business's substantial environmental impact, but also need to apply for an All-in-One Permit for Physical Aspects, for instance with regard to building. In that case you are required to submit both notification and licence application simultaneously.
Category C: your company’s environmental impact is extensive
You will need an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects. You can obtain this permit from your municipal or provincial authority through the 'Service Counter All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects' (Omgevingsloket Online, OLO). If your business is subject to the European Industrial Emissions Directive (successor to the IPPC Directive), you also need this permit.
Changes to your permit
You might need to apply for a modification of your permit when circumstances with regard to your company or your company's management have changed. If the environmental impact of your company stays within the limits set by the original permit, for this modification usually the normal procedure applies. This means you will receive a decision on your application within 8 weeks.
Activities Decree online module
The Activities Decree online module helps you in determining which rules apply to your company. You can also submit the environmental management notification via AIM. Please note that this module is in Dutch only. For more information, contact your local municipal authority.
Industrial odour emission
If you submit an environmental management notification or an application for an integrated environmental permit, the municipal or provincial authorities will take into account the extent of odour nuisance caused by your business. In controlling odour nuisance, you must use the best available technology (BAT).
Agricultural and greenhouse sector
If you plan to start a commercial greenhouse business, want to extend or change your business or want to change the amount of any discharges, you have to notify your water board through the Activities Decree online module (Activiteitenbesluit Internet Module, AIM). If you want to know which Activities Decree regulations apply to your agricultural sector, your agricultural activities or to a specific environmental theme, please find an overview of these regulations on InfoMil Knowledge Centre's website (Dutch).
Online application procedure via Message Box
You can submit the notification of environmental management also online via Message Box. At the province of Noord-Brabant, you can use Message Box to apply for an All-in-one Permit for Physical Aspects. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.