New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands may be well-known for its lax approach to amateur pyrotechnics, but some municipalities aren’t totally happy with that. A total of 16 have opted to impose a local fireworks ban over the New Year, while even more are backing calls for a national firework ban. Here’s an overview of the rules, so you don’t get caught out. 

16 Dutch municipalities impose local fireworks bans for NYE 2023

According to RTL Nieuws, 16 municipalities in the Netherlands have announced local fireworks bans for New Year’s in 2023. That’s four more than last year, when 12 municipalities enacted bans.

For the first time this year, Tilburg, Arnhem, Amersfoort and Eindhoven have put in place fireworks bans covering their entire municipalities. This means that it will be forbidden to buy and set off fireworks in these areas, although organised firework displays will still be allowed. 

As they were in previous years, personal fireworks will also be banned in the municipalities of Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Bloemendaal, Haarlem, Heemstede, Heumen, Mook en Middelaar, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Schiedam, Soest and Utrechtse Heuvelrug.

Other municipalities, including major Dutch cities like The Hague, Utrecht and Maastricht, will enforce fireworks-free zones in some areas, for example in places close to zoos, nursing homes and hospitals, so make sure you check the regulations in your local area to ensure you stay within the rules. 

The municipalities of Ede, Zwolle and Zutphen have said that they will most likely introduce a fireworks ban in 2024, but not in 2023. 

Calls for national fireworks ban as municipalities say local bans too hard to enforce

However, the vast majority of the Netherlands’ 342 municipalities have said that they will not impose a local ban in 2023. Many authorities told RTL Nieuws that they saw no need for a ban because they hardly have any issues with fireworks. Others said that the problem was mainly with people buying and setting off illegal fireworks, which would not be solved by a ban. 

Other municipalities, on the other hand, said that they would not be implementing a local ban simply because it would be too hard to enforce. In Amsterdam last year, for instance, a fireworks ban was announced, but not a single fine was handed out, despite the numerous infractions. 

“Local lighting bans continue to make it possible to legally purchase fireworks in a municipality. This makes enforcement virtually impossible. Only a national fireworks ban could provide relief,” the municipality of Utrecht told RTL Nieuws

According to a survey of the municipalities conducted by the ANP, more than 50 are in favour of a national ban on the sale, possession and lighting of fireworks, arguing that such a ban would work better than fragmented local rules. Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht all expressed that they were in favour of a national ban. 

“Nationally, there is still a lack of a clear (multi-year) strategy, meaning municipalities deal differently with fireworks. We find this undesirable,” the municipality of Helmond told RTL Nieuws

Image credit: Ton Hazewinkel / Shutterstock.com

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