The Dutch have now crossed the border en masse to buy fireworks in Germany. Dutch fireworks sellers miss out on an estimated 15 percent of turnover due to fireworks tourism at the eastern neighbors.

In contrast to here, the fireworks in Germany are just for sale in the supermarket. Less stringent safety requirements apply and much fireworks are considerably cheaper than in the Netherlands.

“It looks like war,” reports a reporter from RTV Oost about the situation at Lidl in Gronau. There are long lines in front of the cash desks. Also at the other supermarkets in the German border town near Oldenzaal, the shops are bulging with customers clearing the shelves with fireworks boxes. There are even people at storage areas of supermarkets where the store shelves are already empty.

The image is the same at almost every German supermarket in the border region with the Netherlands. Also in Bunde, which is located much more to the north, or in Kranenburg near Nijmegen, the parking areas are packed with Dutch license plates.

The signs in the stores are bilingual. At the exit, Dutchmen push their fully loaded wagons to their cars in the parking lot.

At the Aldi in Bunde, a Dutchman loads 300 euros worth of fireworks in the trunk. “This is fairly normal for three people,” he says at RTV Noord. “It’s only once a year, isn’t it?”

Importing foreign fireworks to the Netherlands is prohibited. But in practice the Dutch police only check for large batches of more than 25 kilos. “We keep dynamic traffic controls,” a police spokesman told RTV Noord. “That means we drive around and pay attention to cars. If they are loaded with fireworks, they will probably go off at the next gas station for a check.”

“I didn’t consider it,” says a Dutchman in Bunde. His trunk protrudes with German fireworks. “But if we are arrested then the justice will.”

Jasper Groeneveld from Lesli, the largest fireworks importer in the Netherlands, does not know how much money his members miss out on because of the Germans. “For now we estimate it at 15 percent of our sales,” he says, “I do that based on the images I see, the queues and the logistics operation on the German side. They have scaled up supplies in recent years. Until recently, they were supplied once with fireworks. Now the shops on the border are supplied several times. ”

“Europe measures with two sizes,” says Groeneveld. “We must have storage with walls that are fire-resistant for an hour, sprinklers, you name it. In Germany, the fireworks are just on the shelves. Between the packs of sugar and the detergent.”

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