Do you offer security services? In the Netherlands, private security officers must wear a uniform. The uniform must meet the requirements set by the Minister of Justice and Security. These include:
- the uniform should not resemble a police uniform
- logos or emblems on the uniform should not look like the police's logo
- uniforms should not indicate rank in any way
- the company name or logo should be visible
- a prescribed emblem (V sign) should be used
The full requirements for uniforms of private security officers can be found in the Private security and detective agency law (Wet particuliere beveiligingsorganisaties en recherchebureaus, Wbpr, in Dutch)
Obtaining approval for your uniform
Your uniform has to be approved before you can use it. To get approval, you have to submit colour photos in which the design of the uniform and the distinguishing marks are clearly visible. You should send these photos to the judiciary service Justis (Ministry of Justice and Security) on the following address:
If you change the uniform, you must re-apply for permission.
Exemption from the uniform requirement
For personal security and shop surveillance staff, the uniform requirement can be waived. You can apply for an exemption to the chief of police in your police district (in Dutch). If you provide security to an airport, you should apply for an exemption with the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. This is only possible if the exemption is beneficial for the work you carry out, for example protecting individuals.
Private security firm employees and detective agencies in the Netherlands are prohibited from carrying or using handcuffs as part of their work. In exceptional cases, they can obtain permission for carrying handcuffs on their person. This permission is granted by the Minister of Justice and Security, in consultation with the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. You can apply for permission through Justis (in Dutch), using the form 'Aanvraagformulier ontheffing Wpbr' (pdf).
Digital application with Message Box
Detective agencies can also request permission from Justis Department digitally via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system which allows you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government organisations.