Dutch shoppers flock to Belgium to buy fireworks

Dutch shoppers flock to Belgium to buy fireworks
© Pxhere

Dutch fireworks enthusiasts have been flocking to Belgian stores close to the border to add a bit of colour to their end-of-year festivities, despite a ban in the Netherlands.

On Friday, shoppers from the Netherlands crowded two such stores located in Baarle-Hertog, a Belgian enclave almost entirely surrounded by Dutch territory, the Belga News Agency reports.

One man travelled from Rotterdam to purchase a huge box containing about 100 fireworks. “I can’t think of the year-end without fireworks,” he told Dutch news agency ANP, admitting that he had also gone fireworks shopping in Germany and Poland. “I must have spent €3,500 on purchases.”

The manager of the Zena Vuurwerk store said 95% of his customers were from the Netherlands, but he had also had one who travelled from Germany, where the sale of fireworks is prohibited but their use appears to be authorised.

A spokesperson for the local police in the Dutch region of East Brabant appealed to the good sense of cross-border buyers. “In any event, there is a ban in place,” he said, adding: “We know the rules on fireworks are stricter in the Netherlands than in Belgium, but there is nothing we can do about that.”

Anyone caught in the Netherlands with fireworks in their possession or about to set them off risks a fine of up to €400 per projectile if it is an illegal one.

Owning prohibited fireworks carries a maximum fine of 15 months in prison.

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