Dutch-Chinese deal tackles illegal fireworks

16th November 2011, Comments 1 comment

The Dutch are to cooperate more closely with China to keep illegal fireworks out of the market. Deputy Infrastructure and Environment Minister Joop Atsma is in China to sign a deal designed to improve cooperation between Dutch and Chinese inspectors.

The deputy minister believes the agreement will make it easier to exchange information about monitoring and controls. “We are better informed about each other’s laws and can tackle problems more easily,” Mr Atsma said. The Dutch have been working on tackling illegal fireworks with China for some time.

A large proportion of the fireworks that are set off in the Netherlands comes from China. Last year, 30,000 tons of Chinese fireworks came onto the European market via the port of Rotterdam.

The number of victims of firework accidents has fallen in recent years. Four years ago, 1100 people were treated in hospital for injuries, last year this figure was 710. The amount of financial damage has also been reduced, while sales in both countries has increased.

Fireworks in the Netherlands are only allowed to be set off during New Year’s Eve. There are strict regulations about when and where they can be sold.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

1 Comment To This Article

  • daniel posted:

    on 16th November 2011, 11:42:34 - Reply

    Very interested to learn that there are strict regulations about when and where fireworks can be sold as this is in stark contrast to the attitude towards when, where and how they can be set off. We love watching the adults and kids chucking them at eachother in the street from the comparative safety of our front balcony. I'm both surprised and delighted that more people aren't injured.