Local Heart, Global Soul

January 6, 2018

Buying Up Large At Cheaper Prices…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we head away from the centre of Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, there is one other thing that we have seen in some of the side streets a little bit further along.

What we have seen are many signs advertising Tobacco and Fireworks. Each of the establishments selling these is located on the Baarle-Hertog (Belgian) side of the enclaves and they are taking advantage of the tight Dutch laws around tobacco and fireworks.

With Belgian regulations, taxes and prohibitions far more relaxed than the Dutch ones, these shops have sprung up in various parts of the Belgian enclaves so that Dutch customers can circumvent Dutch regulations.

For instance: in the Netherlands fireworks are only available for sale for the traditional New Year celebrations on the very last days of the year.

Fireworks may be ordered in special fireworks shops early in December but you pay for your order then and only pick up the actual goods between the 28th and 31st December.

The setting off of fireworks is strictly prohibited until around 6:00 p.m. on 31st December. Before then the police roam the streets playing a cat and mouse game with anyone letting off fireworks earlier and dish out heavy fines to people not complying with the bans. Belgium on the other hand has more relaxed laws on fireworks so Dutch rebels buy them in Baarle-Nassau and stockpile them, letting them off earlier and hoping not to get caught. Tobacco products in the Netherlands carry a higher tax rate than Baark-Hertog (Belgium) so there are no shortage of buyers coming to buy up large at the Belgian cheaper prices.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


  1. I find it so amazing that these places are but steps apart, yet so very different in their laws. Buying up large and not getting caught seems to be the quest! Thank-you!

    Comment by Ellen — January 6, 2018 @ 6:34 pm | Reply

  2. It’s a thing that teenagers get into as a sort of “sport”, Himself said he did it a few times as a teenager too but not really a lot because he didn’t have a lot of money to spend on fireworks, preferring to save his money for travelling.

    Comment by kiwidutch — January 7, 2018 @ 11:10 am | Reply

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