Dutch government debates 'koopzondag' regulations

23rd September 2009, Comments 4 comments

Several political parties want stricter rules for shopping Sundays in order to prevent misuse of the 'tourist area' loophole.

The Hague – Rules on koopzondag, the first Sunday of the month when shops are permitted to open, may change as early as 1 January 2010, reports Dutch news agency ANP.

Cities are generally permitted to open shops 12 Sundays per year; however, cities considered 'tourist areas' are allowed to open shops every Sunday.

According to the lower house of parliament, these rules must be adjusted because cities too often misuse the tourist designation.

When the proposed changes will take effect is a point of controversy within the government.

Parties such as ChristenUnie and SGP want the stricter rules to be implemented from 1 January 2010.

Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven said the date was not practical because both the lower and upper houses of parliament must review the proposal, according to a report on nu.nl.

Entrepreneurs don't need extra headaches in these economically-troubled times, van der Hoeven told the ANP.

Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Labour Party (PvdA) also want to move the proposal forward, but want a longer transition period to allow cities to adjust to the new rules.

No word was given on what the new regulations might entail.

Jennifer Evans / Expatica

4 Comments To This Article

  • Michael Kadin posted:

    on 24th September 2009, 08:09:32 - Reply

    It does seem we are in the minority on this issue of Sunday to shop.
    In the United States, they have had over the generations Blue Laws, the closure of store or the not allowing an alcohol or food on a Sunday or in the restaurant a bar is closed on this day. In Illinois there is a city named Blue Island.
  • HistoryTechDoc posted:

    on 23rd September 2009, 12:37:01 - Reply

    Hard to believe that in the 21st Century the government still gets involved in setting shopping hours for private businesses, other than places where alcohol or weed is served.
    When we have high unemployment, many desiring to work at parttime jobs, (particular students who are required to work 20 hours a week)why not let the businesses determine when they want to be open or not? If storeowners cannot make any money during certain hours, then why force them to be open and visa versa? The public now pays for millions of hours that stores are open with few customers stopping by to shop.
    In a country where only 9% or so attend church on a regular basis and a plurality consider themselves to agnostics or aetheists, why systematize opening hours to satisfy so few? Let's give employees the right to choose when they want to take their free time.
    Furthermore, Jews and Moslims celebrate their day of religeous observance on Fridays or Saturdays. Then there are all those working in hospitals, emergency pharmacies, police and fire departments, etc. whom have difficulties shopping during the work week.
    Yes, hands off the federal interference with shop openings. Let the Germans and Belgium come here on weekends and shop; this will help pay for the extra taxes to offset our current deficit!
  • Michael Kadin posted:

    on 23rd September 2009, 11:51:19 - Reply

  • chicgeek posted:

    on 23rd September 2009, 10:52:25 - Reply

    ridiculous. hands off my business.