Netherlands Introduces Registration Requirement for Tobacco and Vape Retailers

To combat the significant health risks associated with smoking, the Netherlands will implement a registration requirement for tobacco and related product retailers, including vapes, starting in 2024. From July 1, 2024, a ban on tobacco sales in supermarkets will be enforced, leading to the closure of thousands of points of sale. Simultaneously, new outlets are expected to emerge, resulting in a net reduction of retail points from approximately 10,000 to 4,400. The newly approved registration requirement, proposed by State Secretary Van Ooijen of Health, Welfare, and Sport, aims to provide enhanced oversight of the evolving retail landscape.

Key Points:

  • Registration for Oversight: The registration requirement for tobacco retailers will assist the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) in monitoring and enforcing compliance with regulations for both existing and new retail outlets.
  • Reducing Tobacco Outlets: With the phased introduction of measures such as the online sales ban in 2023 and the supermarket sales ban in July 2024, the government aims to gradually reduce the number of tobacco sales outlets. The expectation is for a decrease from around 10,000 to 4,400 retail points.
  • Raising Awareness: State Secretary Van Ooijen emphasized that the registration requirement aims to keep track of permitted sales locations and prevent any undesirable developments. The government remains committed to creating a smoke-free generation, taking steps to make quitting smoking easier and starting more challenging.
  • Phased Approach: The government plans to further reduce tobacco outlets by introducing a sales ban at gas stations in 2030 and convenience stores in 2032. From 2032 onward, tobacco products will only be available in specialty shops, with a similar restriction already applying to e-cigarettes from 2025.

The gradual reduction in tobacco sales outlets aligns with the government’s broader strategy to promote a healthier and smoke-free environment.