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Articles

Selling Tobacco in the Netherlands

Updated on Friday 22nd December 2017

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Tobacco products can be purchased in most types of stores, specialized tobacco shops and in gas stations in the Netherlands. However, there is no official register for Dutch tobacco retailersThe main legal framework regulating the sale of tobacco products in the Netherlands is the Tobacco ActThis law provisions the places tobacco cannot be sold in and the types of companies not allowed selling tobacco. Also, the Netherlands is part of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control from 2005.

Our company registration representatives in the Netherlands can offer more information on the regulations related to selling tobacco.

What are the regulations for selling tobacco products in the Netherlands?

The Tobacco Act (Tabakswet) has designed a set of regulations for Dutch companies selling tobacco and products derived from tobacco in the country. The Tobacco Act sets out the following rules:

  • -       retailers may sell tobacco to individuals of legal age of 18 and above;
  • -       retailers must clearly display the legal age for selling tobacco products;
  • -       proof of identity must be requested to certain citizens in order to establish the legal age;
  • -       employees of Dutch companies selling tobacco products must be at least 16 years old,
  • -       companies are not allowed to advertise tobacco products in the Netherlands,
  • -       tobacco products may not be given for free by companies.

Other Dutch laws providing for the sale of tobacco and related products

Companies producing and selling tobacco products in the Netherlands must also comply with:

  • -       the Regulations for Tobacco Shops and Tobacco Sales Outlets;
  • -       the Regulations on the Supervision of Compliance with the Tobacco Law;
  • -       the Decree on the Labeling of Tobacco Products.

Also, Dutch companies selling tobacco products must comply with strict regulations related to the advertising of such goods.

You can also watch our video on selling tobacco in the Netherlands:

The sale of e-cigarettes in the Netherlands

During the last several years, many tobacco factories and other types of businesses in this domain have started creating electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes – electronic devices which produce vapor similar in taste with that of normal cigarettes. For this reason, the Dutch government inserted new regulations for those who produce and sell this type of devices.

It should be noted that in the case of selling electronic cigarettes one must comply with the Temporary E-cigarette Decree which was introduced in the Dutch Commodities Law. The temporary legislation was issued in 2015 and is not yet integrated in the Dutch Tobacco Law.

The sale of e-cigarettes is possible not only in dedicated tobacco shops, but also in online stores which also sell other electronic devices.

Our Dutch company formation consultants can assist enterprisers who want to set up online shops.

Other forms of selling tobacco in the Netherlands

The Tobacco Act also allows selling tobacco products by online companies in the Netherlands. Online companies must publish a list with the tobacco products and their prices without recommending any product and they are also required to verify the client’s age.

Tobacco products may be sold through vending machines only if:

  • - the machines are locked,
  • - the machines are indoors and can be supervised by the company’s staff,
  • - the machine can be unlocked only if one can make sure the products are not sold to minors.

Dutch companies selling tobacco and tobacco derived products are required to select the appropriate NACE (Nomenclature of Economic Activities) codes. The correspondent NACE code for manufacturing and selling tobacco products in the Netherlands is 16.00 for the manufacturing of tobacco products under Section D.

For complete details about opening a tobacco company, please contact our company formation agents in the Netherlands.

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