New rules and laws for starters as of 1 July 2023
- The basis
- 16 May 2023
- Edited 22 Jun 2023
- 4 min
- Rules and laws
Several new laws and rules come into effect between July and December 2023. For example, there will be a ban on giving plastic cups and containers free of charge. From now on, care must provide medical details online. And if you start a debt collection agency, you will need a licence.
The new laws and amendments for starters:
- Ban on free plastic take-out cups and containers
- Amendment to the Quality of Childcare Decree
- Care providers must provide medical details online
- Smart tachograph type 2 mandatory for trucks
From 1 July 2023
Do you sell food or drinks to go or as take-out? A ban on free plastic single-use cups and food is coming into effect. You have to charge your customers for plastic single-use packaging, on top of the price of the coffee or the meal. You decide how much to charge your customer. You are allowed to offer your customers free single-use packaging if it does not contain any plastic. So, for example, 100% paper-based cups, or other materials.
Do you run a nursery or out-of-school care? On 1 July 2023, the 3-hour rule and the familiar-face will change. The new rules are more in line with the real-world situation. From 1 July, you will be allowed to deviate from the childcarer-child ratio (Beroepskracht-kind ratio, BKR) for 3 hours per day. And to temporarily deviate from the familiar-faces criterion. For example, in case of illness or leave of 1 or more permanent staff members.
Are you a care provider? On 1 July 2023, the Wet Elektronische Gegevensuitwisseling in de Zorg (Electronic data exchange in healthcare Act, comes into force. This law makes it mandatory for care providers to exhange medical data electronically. The aim is to reduce errors and improve the communication between care providers. In the coming years, care providers will come to arrangements on how to execute the new law. The first requirement will most likely be enforced in 2024: the general practitioner will then have to send prescriptions to the apothecary or dispensary electronically.
Do you work in the transport sector? A smart tachograph type 2 will be mandatory on newly registered trucks. A tachograph registers the driving and rest times, the speed, and the distance covered by the vehicle. Did you register a truck before 21 August 2023? Then you can replace the existing tachograph in phases:
- 31 December 2024: SMT2 mandatory for trucks with an analogue or digital tachograph
- 19 August 2025: SMT2 mandatory for trucks with a smart tacho 1
New laws and regulations in 2024
Shorter processing time for building projects with the Environmental and Planning Act (1 January 2024)
The new Environmental and Planning Act ('Omgevingswet') will make it easier to check if a building project meets all the requirements in one go. 26 existing regulations for space, living, infrastructure, environment, nature, and water will become 1 act. This should lead to faster and cheaper decision-making, simplification of rules, and an end to unnecessary rules. Once the Environmental and Planning Act comes into force, all municipalities must be connected to the digitised system 'Digitaal Stelsel Omgevingswet' (DSO).
The Environmental and Planning Act is expected to come into effect on 1 July 2023.
Measures to improve quality in construction projects (1 January 2024)
To better safeguard the quality in construction projects and protect private and business customers, new measures will come into force. Construction companies will be required to hire the services of an independent and certified quality controller. The liability for hidden defects will change: the construction company is to remain liable for defects only discovered by the customer after the moment of completion. This is unless the construction company or builder did not cause the defects.
The law to improve quality in the construction sector ('Wet kwaliteitsborging voor het bouwen', Wkb) is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2024.
Safety coordinator required for construction or demolition work (1 January 2024)
Do you work in construction? All construction and demolition works must appoint a Safety Coordinator Immediate Surroundings (Veiligheidscoördinator Directe Omgeving in Dutch). This coordinator sees to the safety and health of everyone in the immediate surroundings of the work. The Decree on construction works in the living environment (Besluit bouwwerken leefomgeving, Bbl) enters into effect at the same time as the Environmental and Planning Act (Omgevingswet).
On Business.gov.nl, you can find all relevant upcoming changes in laws and . Or go to , type in a keyword, and choose the Regulations or Amendments tab in the search results.
How are laws made?
Sometimes a new law or an amendment is announced, and then does not go ahead, or the effective date is postponed. Why do some announced laws come into effect, while others do not?
Roughly speaking, the legislation process works like this. Ministries and the lower house of parliament ('Tweede Kamer') prepare laws. Once the lower house of parliament has approved a law, it goes to the upper house ('Eerste Kamer'). They can only accept or reject the law. If the upper house accepts the proposal, the government publishes the new law in the 'Staatsblad' (Government Gazette).
The effective date of a law can be mentioned in the law itself. Or the law may state that the government will determine the effective date by Royal Decree (Koninklijk Besluit, KB). The KB is published in the Staatsblad.
As the legislative process consists of many steps, it can take a while before a proposed law enters into effect. Changes in the composition of the lower and upper houses of parliament can also affect the progress. If there is a caretaker cabinet in place ('demissionair cabinet'), it will only handle current affairs and not take any major decisions.
Supervision and enforcement
In the Netherlands, several organisations are responsible for supervising and enforcing laws.
Several supervisory organisations check whether everyone complies with the law. Examples are the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (Financial Markets Authority, AFM), the Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, NVWA) and the Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg (Healthcare Inspectorate, IGZ).
Municipalities, police, and the Openbaar Ministerie (public prosecution, OM) enforce laws in several ways. Think of performing checks or providing information and advice.
If a person breaks a law, enforcement organisations can impose sanctions. These vary from a fine to a jail sentence. Which sanction applies depends on the gravity of the offence.