The Dutch government is currently working on the creation of a so-called 'Base Network' (Basisnet). The intention of the introduction of this Base Network is to provide more clarity about the maximum and acceptable risks in relation to the transportation of hazardous goods. Arrangements are being made with both the local authorities and the relevant parties in the business on the specific routes for the transportation of hazardous goods. The creation of a Base Network is deemed necessary because of the considerable increase in the transportation of hazardous goods in the Netherlands as well as the fact that residential homes are now built much closer to infrastructure, meaning more people are at risk should an accident occur during transportation.
In this respect, among other things, a legislative proposal has been prepared with the goal of improving the existing Carriage of Dangerous Goods Act (Wet Vervoer Gevaarlijke Stoffen). The proposed modification to the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Act involves the appointment of certain routes for the transportation of hazardous substances, while at the same time it sets so-called 'risk maxima' (risicoplafonds): every route has its own maximum acceptable risk. It will be up to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to monitor the transportation of hazardous goods over such routes and to prevent the risk maximum from being exceeded. As an ultimate remedy, the transportation of hazardous goods over certain routes can be prohibited.
The House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) has approved the legislative proposal and it is now pending review by the Senate (Eerste Kamer). If the Senate accepts the legislative proposal, it is expected that it will enter into force in the beginning of 2014.