Notification Detail

Decree of [...] amending the Fireworks Decree [Vuurwerkbesluit] in connection with a temporary ban on fireworks due to COVID-19

Notification Number: 2020/721/NL (Netherlands )
Date received: 23/11/2020
End of Standstill: 02/12/2020
Invocation of the Emergency Procedure: Yes

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Message 002

Communication from the Commission - TRIS/(2020) 04131
Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Translation of the message 001
Notification: 2020/0721/NL

No abre el plazo - Nezahajuje odklady - Fristerne indledes ikke - Kein Fristbeginn - Viivituste perioodi ei avata - Καμμία έναρξη προθεσμίας - Does not open the delays - N'ouvre pas de délais - Non fa decorrere la mora - Neietekmē atlikšanu - Atidėjimai nepradedami - Nem nyitja meg a késéseket - Ma’ jiftaħx il-perijodi ta’ dawmien - Geen termijnbegin - Nie otwiera opóźnień - Não inicia o prazo - Neotvorí oneskorenia - Ne uvaja zamud - Määräaika ei ala tästä - Inleder ingen frist - Не се предвижда период на прекъсване - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare.

(MSG: 202004131.EN)

1. Structured Information Line
MSG 002 IND 2020 0721 NL EN 23-11-2020 NL NOTIF


2. Member State
NL


3. Department Responsible
Ministerie van Financiën
Belastingdienst/Douane centrale dienst voor in- en uitvoer


3. Originating Department
Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat


4. Notification Number
2020/0721/NL - X00M


5. Title
Decree of [...] amending the Fireworks Decree [Vuurwerkbesluit] in connection with a temporary ban on fireworks due to COVID-19


6. Products Concerned
Pyrotechnic articles of the category F2


7. Notification Under Another Act
-


8. Main Content
Article I, Parts A, B and C, may contain technical regulations. Read in conjunction with Parts D, E and F, the possession, use and sale of designated fireworks of category F2 shall be restricted or prohibited during this turn of the year.

Part A removes the exception with regard to transport, thereby limiting the possession of fireworks by private individuals. Read in conjunction with Part D, this means that private individuals are not permitted to transport designated fireworks of category F2 until 2 January 2021.

Part B removes the days during which sales are permitted, thereby prohibiting the provision of fireworks to private individuals. Read in conjunction with Part E, this means that it is not permitted to sell designated fireworks of category F2 to private individuals during this turn of the year.

Part C removes the times for setting off fireworks, thereby prohibiting the lighting of fireworks by private individuals. Read in conjunction with Part F, this means that private individuals are not permitted to use designated fireworks of category F2 during this turn of the year.

In addition, with the removal of the days for selling fireworks and the times for setting off fireworks during this turn of the year, private individuals are not permitted to possess designated fireworks of category F2 except in a place that is not accessible to the public.

Due to the nature of the order, whereby the possession, use and sale of designated fireworks of category F2 is restricted or not permitted this turn of the year, the inclusion of a mutual recognition clause is not possible.


9. Brief Statement of Grounds
The ban applies to everyone other than those that possess specialised expertise and is therefore non-discriminatory.

The ban is necessary for three reasons.
Firstly, setting off fireworks at the turn of the year causes a great deal of serious injuries, thereby placing a further strain on healthcare facilities that are already overburdened due to the treatment of patients with the coronavirus, and making timely and adequate care impossible to guarantee.
Secondly, setting off fireworks at the turn of the year causes a considerable and serious nuisance, thereby placing a heavy burden on the services responsible for maintaining public order, and making the enforcement of coronavirus measures in public areas impossible to guarantee.
Thirdly, the possibility of setting off fireworks at the turn of the year gives rise to mass gatherings outdoors, thereby leading to large concentrations of people on the street who do not (or cannot) maintain the prescribed distance from each other, and allowing the COVID-19 virus to spread.

The ban is proportionate as it only concerns the upcoming turn of the year.

The overriding reasons of public interest underlying the ban are public policy, health and safety.

The ban is appropriate as it prevents or reduces injuries, public disturbances and concentrations of people on the streets, avoiding the placement of an additional burden on emergency services and healthcare facilities, making it easier to enforce coronavirus measures and preventing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The ban does not go beyond what is necessary as it does not apply to fireworks of categories F1, F3 and F4.

The ban on the possession, use and sale of designated fireworks of category F2 is currently the least restrictive means of preventing or reducing injuries, public disturbances and the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Less restrictive means that have been applied in the past to prevent injuries, such as requiring the supply of launch stands, safety goggles and fireworks fuses with the sale of fireworks, have led to an insufficient reduction in the number of injuries caused by the setting off of fireworks by the general public during the turn of the year.


10. Reference Documents - Basic Texts
Numbers or titles of the basic texts: Fireworks Decree


11. Invocation of the Emergency Procedure
Yes


12. Grounds for the Emergency
In order to be effective, the measure should enter into force as soon as possible, but no later than 29 December 2020, the first day on which fireworks may be made available to private individuals.

The scale of the second wave of coronavirus infections represents a serious and unforeseen situation.
National measures are in place to combat the rapid spread of the coronavirus. Stricter measures for the partial lockdown, which in any case is to continue until 15 December, have been temporarily introduced. The situation in most of the country is classified as very serious (the highest of 4 levels); the situation in the rest of the country is serious (level 3). The number of COVID-19 reports is decreasing only slowly. On 18 November 2020, there were 4 628 people who tested positive, (in total) 117 905 people who were contagious, there were (on average) 149.3 hospital admissions and 29.7 intensive care admissions, and 1 528 hospital beds and 559 IC beds (53.4 %) were occupied by patients with COVID-19 (source: coronadashboard.rijksoverheid.nl, 19 November 2020). Healthcare facilities are overburdened. Regular healthcare procedures has been scaled down. Non-essential treatments have been postponed.

In light of this, the Dutch parliament has called on the government not to allow the public to set off fireworks during the upcoming turn of the year. This is a strong tradition in the Netherlands, where citizens take to the streets en masse on New Year’s Eve and at the time of the turn of the year in particular, setting off their own fireworks. These fireworks may only be purchased on the last three days of the year and may only be ignited on New Year’s Eve and in the early hours of New Year’s Day. In 2019, 77 million euro worth of fireworks were sold in the Netherlands. With a population of 17 million, this amounts to an average of almost 5 euro per person. (source: interest group Pyrotechniek Netherland)

Setting off fireworks on such a large scale and in such a short period of time causes a great deal of serious injuries. In 2019, 385 victims required assistance at the 84 emergency medical stations in hospitals and 900 victims reported to 118 general practitioner surgeries. (source: Registration of fireworks accidents 2019-2020, VeiligheidNL) Due to this peak burden on healthcare facilities at a time when they are already overburdened with caring for patients with coronavirus, it is impossible to guarantee timely and adequate care. The Dutch Society of Emergency Medicine (NVSHA) and the Dutch Ophthalmic Society (NOG) have called for a fireworks ban this year. This was also advocated by the Safety Council [Veiligheidsberaad], the meeting of chairpersons of the safety regions in charge of public order and safety. According to the Safety Council, another reason for this action is that a fireworks ban would limit the number of contacts during the turn of the year, thereby preventing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


13. Confidentiality
No


14. Fiscal measures
No


15. Impact assessment
Information on the impact assessment can be found in the explanatory memorandum to the draft Decree.


16. TBT and SPS aspects
TBT aspect

No, the draft is neither a technical regulation nor a conformity assessment procedure.

SPS aspect

No - the draft is neither a sanitary nor phytosanitary measure.

**********
European Commission

Contact point Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Fax: +32 229 98043
email: grow-dir2015-1535-central@ec.europa.eu

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