Environmental regulations regarding use of solvents

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Netherlands, to certain industrial activities environmental regulations for the use of solvents apply. For example in case of chemical cleaning, coating, welding or laminating. These regulations are set out in, for instance, the Activities (Environmental Management) Decree (Activiteitenbesluit milieubeheer). Their aim is to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Providing data and solvent management plan

If your use of solvents exceeds a certain threshold value, you must, as a VOC establishment, report this information to the municipal or provincial authorities. You must take measures in order to minimise emissions and prepare a solvent management plan. You must draw up a separate plan for each activity. If you do this each calendar year, it will be useful for drawing up the PRTR report. You can also use the online application Digital environmental annual report (e-MJV, elektronisch milieujaarverslag) to prepare the solvent management plan.

Replacement regulations for hazardous substances

Replacement regulations for hazardous substances which cause the release of VOCs have been drawn up for the following sectors or activities:

  • indoor painting and gluing
  • the printing sector
  • car respray shops
  • the carpentry industry

As an employer you are obliged to check whether alternative substances are available. Exemption or dispensation from the obligation to replace hazardous substances with other substances can be requested from the Netherlands Labour Authority (NLA) if it is not technically feasible to use non-harmful or less harmful substances or products.

Solvents in paints and varnishes

If you bring decorative paints, varnishes or products for respraying vehicles onto the market, you must observe the requirements of the Organic Solvents in Paints and Varnishes (Environmental Management) Decree (Besluit organische oplosmiddelen in verven en vernissen milieubeheer, BOOVV), which lays down the rules governing the content of VOCs and rules for labelling these products.

If you want to supply paints and varnishes for the restoration and maintenance of listed buildings and classic cars which do not meet the prescribed VOC content requirements, you can apply to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management for dispensation. For more information please contact Infomil/Rijkswaterstaat Environment.

Online application procedure via Message Box

At the province of Noord-Brabant you can report the VOC information also via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO