People will not be punished if they voluntarily hand in previously purchased fireworks to a special collection point of the municipality, says Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Security) Friday. With this he responds to the idea of the Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb to introduce such a “general pardon”.
Several mayors supported Aboutaleb’s proposal and urged the minister to make this possible, so that people can safely get rid of their fireworks if desired.
The possession of a maximum of 25 kilograms of fireworks is allowed, but it is prohibited to transport or set off fireworks this year. This would make it impossible to hand in fireworks, but Grapperhaus has now agreed an indemnification with the Public Prosecution Service (OM). The Public Prosecution Service will therefore not go after fireworks owners if they hand in the arrows and fountains of their own accord.
It is currently still being examined how the plan can be worked out. According to Grapperhaus, it is especially important that the fireworks are “safely returned, transported and stored safely”. That does not mean that there will be a national collection point.
Municipalities are taking the lead
Grapperhaus emphasizes that municipalities take the lead. “We are helping, we are certainly watching, but here we are also dealing with local responsibilities,” he says. It is not yet known which and how many municipalities will open a collection point for fireworks. They will themselves announce the arrival of such a location.
Almost all fireworks have been banned this year. In addition to the general ban on heavy fireworks that was announced earlier, there will be a one-time ban on lighter fireworks, to spare healthcare workers. Only the so-called children’s fireworks, for example stars, may still be lit.