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In the Netherlands, rules apply to storing, transporting, selling and setting off fireworks.
Storage of fireworks
Up to 10.000 kilos
If you want to store up to 10,000 kilos of consumer fireworks, you must send in a notification based on the Fireworks Decree (in Dutch). You send the notification to the local council where you want to store the fireworks, at least 4 weeks in advance. They will subsequently send your notification electronically to the competent national authority and the regional fire department.
More than 10.000 kilos
If you want to store more than 10,000 kilos of consumer fireworks, you need an environmental permit (one of the All-in-one Permits for Physical Aspects). You must also pursue an active safety policy. Finally, you may need an All-in-one permit for physical aspects for the construction of your storage space or for the use of your premises in a safe way regarding fire safety. If you want to store more than 200,000 kilos of consumer fireworks you must also draw up a safety report.
For the storage of professional fireworks, you will always need an environmental permit.
Using the Activities Decree online module (AIM, in Dutch)), you can check which obligations apply to your company. You can always contact your local council if you have any questions about the rules regarding fireworks.
Proof of liability cover in case of storage
If you manage a space where you store or process professional fireworks, whether or not mixed with consumer fireworks, you must have liability insurance with sufficient cover. You must submit written proof of this insurance policy to the provincial authorities.
Transport of fireworks
You may only transport fireworks if the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has authorised the classification code for the fireworks concerned. In order for this to happen:
- the manufacturer’s classification must correspond with the classification on the ADR list;
- TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) must confirm the accuracy of the classification or award a classification after testing.
You must always register the import, export and distribution of fireworks with ILT.
Selling consumer fireworks
The sale of fireworks is only allowed during 3 allocated days just before the turn of the year. For this you need a permit from the local council. You are not allowed to sell more than 25 kilos of fireworks per delivery. You are not allowed to store more than 500 kilo of fireworks in your showroom.
Please note: The technical requirements that apply in the Netherlands to fireworks differ from those of other EU member states. Do other EU member states already allow a specific type of fireworks? Then the government may only ban the sale in the Netherlands in exceptional cases.
Banned consumer fireworks
The sale of firecrackers and rockets to private citizens is banned as of 1 December 2020. This applies to the following types of fireworks:
- category F3 fireworks. You can find the category on the label
- firecrackers (including strings of firecrackers)
Importers and distributors are no longer allowed to sell these fireworks to consumers. Likewise, consumers are not allowed to buy or light these types of fireworks. This ban is irrespective of the ban on fireworks due the corona crisis (in Dutch).
Setting off professional fireworks
Professional fireworks consist of event and theatre fireworks (pyrotechnics) and are much more powerful than consumer fireworks. Several requirements apply to lighting professional fireworks during a firework show or event:
- Only certified experts may set off professional firework.
- You will need a general business permit (toepassingsvergunning, in Dutch), which is issued by your regional Environmental Agency (Omgevingsdienst).
- You will need permission to actually set off the professional fireworks (Ontbrandingstoestemming). This permission is granted by the provincial authority where the show or event will take place. The province has set requirements with regard to extinguishing agents, safety distances, packages, transport and fireworks that have failed to ignite. If you want to light less than 20 kilo of pyrotechnical fireworks or less than 200 kilo of consumer fireworks as a professional, a notification to the provincial authority will suffice.
Online application procedure via Message Box
At the province of Noord-Brabant you can use Message Box to apply digitally for permission and notification for lighting off fireworks and for submitting proof of liability cover. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.