North Sea legislation

Laws are important tools for the implementation of the Dutch North Sea Policy. They have in common that they regulate the use of the North Sea and prevent adverse or harmful effects of activities or reduce them to within acceptable limits. The underlying interests are varied: safety, care for the environmental quality (in water as well as seabed), protection of the ecosystem and natural values, archaeological values, the quality of the surroundings and so on.

Dutch laws govern within the territorial sea. The state is the competent authority for exercising jurisdiction. From one kilometre off the coast to the coastline (low-water line) provinces and municipalities also have administrative powers.

Laws in force in EEZ

In the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) outside the Dutch territorial sea (the 12-mile zone), only the laws declared in force for that zone by the legislator are applicable. These include the Water Act, the Mining Act and the Earth Removal Act. The Flora and Fauna Act and the Nature Conservation Act will eventually also enter into force within the EEZ.