It is essential for filmmakers that applications for permits and exemptions are handled efficiently. This is because they are already under immense pressure from factors such as weather conditions, the availability of actors or their broadcast schedules. As the city council is aware of such factors, as well as the economic and cultural importance of the film industry to the city, it is keen to cooperate effectively with filmmakers.

The film protocol has been devised to achieve a more workable situation for location managers and producers, as well as local residents, businesses and visitors affected– before, during and following any production. All film producers that register their recording intentions with a city district will be introduced to the film protocol.

This form will help to quickly and clearly establish whether registration is sufficient, or if further permits are required.

The film protocol is valid for all of Amsterdam’s seven city districts. The city council will check for conflicting activities in the requested public areas, or if a film shoot is planned for restricted public parks or squares.

Permits and authorisation

In principle, shooting a film in Amsterdam does not require a permit. However you should always notify the relevant authorities prior to shooting. This allows the city council to ensure that multiple events or activities are not scheduled simultaneously at any location. Also, for some activities, such as the closure of public roads or the placement of objects or props in public areas, a permit,waiver or additional consent may be required.

The film protocol distinguishes between productions with the categories ‘Notification’ (for small and medium sized productions) and ‘Appointment’ (for special and large productions).

Notification

You are required to complete a short checklist online. If the result of this is that your production only requires a notification, then this will be passed onto the appropriate city district and the film commissioner. You will subsequently receive confirmation that the notification has been received. The city district will then inform any relevant parties about your proposed production. Within two working days, you will be informed whether any objections have been raised and whether you have been granted permission to film or take photographs. A printed copy of this authorisation can be shown to city officials or the police, if requested.

Appointment

If you complete the checklist and it is deemed that your production is special or particularly large, you are then required to obtain a permit, waiver or additional consent. For this you first require a consultation appointment. The film commissioner will discuss your requirements with you, the appropriate city district(s) and other city services. Typically the city district will grant a permit,waiver or consent within one to three weeks, although in some cases this can take a little longer.

Parking

Contact the appropriate city district to arrange the reservation of parking spaces for your production. Please note that it is a legal requirement that signs are erected at least 48 hours in advance of filming to inform local residents of any temporary traffic measures. A temporary traffic measure must also be applied for via the appropriate city district at least five days before the film shoot begins.

In the case of unforeseen circumstances, the city council reserves the right to deviate from these rules or apply a new set of rules. Naturally, the city council will then work with you to seek a workable solution. If any rules are violated, the city council will call you to account.You will be given the opportunity to make corrections in order to adhere to the rules. If you do not or cannot, the city council may withdraw its participation and permissions for the film shoot. In such situations, the city council may also decide to cease cooperation with your activities for an indefinite period of time.
As a producer of a film or photo shoot, you must observe the following rules:

  • You must provide unrestricted passage to the emergency services.
  • You must circulate a letter to all residents and local businesses. The letter should state what you will be doing and at what time and that local residents can park their car in an alternative spot paid for by the production.
  • A low noise generator may be used for electricity.You can also access electricity from underground power enclosures. Please contact the city district to arrange access.
  • Cables across public roads must be well covered. You may not attach cables to street furniture or landscaping. If you wish to fasten anything to fixed objects on the street, you should first consult the city district.
  • Everyone involved in the production must be able to identify themselves as such.
  • If you make use of traffic controllers, they must be clearly identifiable and wear reflective clothing.
  • If any roads are closed to the public, traffic controllers must provide an alternative route.
  • You must ensure that local residents can park their car free of charge in an alternative spot.
  • You must provide sufficient disability parking and car share scheme parking. If your film shoot requires that these be blocked, it is necessary that you provide suitable alternative parking. For disabled residents, it is thus essential that you provide transport to and from the alternative location.
  • Do not prepare food on a public street. You must use a catering bus.
  • Food must only be consumed in a clearly marked area.
  • You must provide your own waste collection and removal.
  • The City of Amsterdam and its city districts must be appropriately credited in any film, unless the project concerns a commercial or photography.
  • The Film Commissioner must receive an exemplar of the film project.
  • You are responsible for all damages and injuries that are demonstrably caused as a result of the film shoot. The City of Amsterdam will receive compensation from you for all damage to municipal property.
  • The City of Amsterdam expects that all of your employees behave properly, especially when in contact with local residents and businesses. In doing so, you will contribute to the support of future applications in the same location.
  • You must leave the local area in the state in which you found it. If you do not, the city district will apply a cleaning charge.
  • Enforcement officers from the city district have the right to visit your film set and ensure that the above rules are adhered to. If you do not comply with these rules, they can halt the filming process.

In the case of unforeseen circumstances, the city district reserves the right to deviate from these rules or apply a new set of rules. Naturally, the city district will then work alongside you and your company in order to find a workable solution. If rules are violated, the city district will call you to account. You will be given the opportunity to make corrections in order to adhere to the rules. If you do not, or cannot, the city district will withdraw its participation and permissions for the film shoot. The City of Amsterdam may also decide to cease cooperation with your activities for an indefinite period of time.