The Netherlands

The Netherlands Legislation


  • Since 1998 the Act on Organ Donation (WOD) exists in the Netherlands. Furthermore, in 2003 the Act on the Quality and Safety of Body material (WVKL) was implemented, based on EU Directive 2003/24/EC. In 2006, this act was supplemented with the Resolution for Body Constituents. The described legal requirements were again adjusted in 2012 to implement EU Directive 2010/53/EC and in  2017 to implement EC directive 2015/565.
  • Since July 2020 the Act on Organ donation is an opt-out system also referred to as Active Donor Registration System (ADR). At age 18 everyone is asked to register his will (permission, objection, decision by the next of kin or a designated person); in case no will is available in the national registry, this will be considered a no objection statement.


Cornea / Tissue banking:

  • Accreditation as an Organ Bank by the Ministry of Health as the competent authority is required.
  • Inspection of Organ Banks is performed once every two years by the Health Care Inspectorate (IGJ).
  • Accredited Organ Banks process tissues and are responsible for the quality and safety, which includes all processes from donor tissue recovery to distribution of the transplants. Furthermore, they perform allocation of non-HLA-matched tissues in the Netherlands and abroad.  
  • Donor selection, donor screening and allocation of HLA-matched and emergency tissues are performed by the Dutch Transplantation Foundation, which holds an accreditation as an Organ Center.

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