In 2012 and 2013 the Inspectorate Environment and Transport (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport) carried out an investigation into compliance with fire safety standards by companies storing hazardous goods. The investigation showed that a number of companies in the Netherlands do not (fully) comply with such fire safety standards. According to the Inspectorate the local authorities have confirmed that they will take further action on this issue to ensure that companies comply with the relevant standards. The Inspectorate indicated that it will monitor this closely.
The regulation of the storage of hazardous substances seems to have received more attention in the Netherlands recently. More widely, in the EU further steps are being taken to ensure the safe storage of hazardous goods. In this respect, the Seveso Directive is of particularly interest. The Seveso Directives I (82/501/EEC) and II (96/82/EC) oblige Member States to ensure that operators have a policy in place to prevent major accidents with hazardous goods and to prevent and limit the consequences of this for people and the environment. The Seveso Directives now apply to around 10,000 industrial establishments where dangerous goods are used or stored in large quantities, mainly in the chemicals, petrochemicals, storage, and metal refining sectors. A revised and amended Seveso Directive (the Seveso III Directive 2012/18/EU) was adopted on 4 July 2012 and entered into force on 13 August 2012. Member States have to transpose and implement this new Directive by 1 June 2015.