Foreign Direct Investments

Foreign Direct Investments

The European Union is the largest destination for Foreign Direct Investments ("FDIs"): whether by private investors from abroad, or by State Owned Entities. Amid growing concerns about countries using those SOEs for geopolitical purposes, however, further and stricter rules for screening FDIs are being introduced, both by the EU and its individual Member States and by countries such as the US and the UK.

While the actual screening of FDIs in their respective territories is the jurisdiction of the individual Member States, the European Commission plays an important coordinating role.

European Regulation

A European Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/452) establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union (“Regulation”) entered into force on 10 April 2019. This Regulation, which primarily governs the potential cross-border safety and public policy implications of FDIs in the European Union, sets out procedural rules for the Member States to adopt. These include the obligation for Member States to exchange information, the possibility for the European Commission to issue non-binding advice to Member States and minimum standards that national FDI regimes must satisfy.

In addition, the EU Foreign Subsidies regulation (FSR) (Regulation (EU) 2022/2560) introduced a wide-ranging set of rules and European Commission powers to prevent financial advantages provided by third countries from distorting competition within the EU internal market. With our FSR Notification Tracker, you can determine within minutes whether an intended or effected transaction must be notified to the European Commission because foreign financial contributions are involved.

FDI in the Netherlands

A general FDI screening regime was introduced in the Netherlands on 1 June 2023. The FDI regime is governed by the Vifo Act (Wet veiligheidstoets investeringen, fusies en overnames) which aims to protect the Netherlands' national security, public order and allies. The Vifo Act is enforced by the Dutch Investment Screening Bureau (Bureau Toetsing Investeringen, or BTI) in respect of all investments in undertakings carrying out relevant activities in the Netherlands, irrespective of the investor's nationality or target undertaking.

The Vifo Act cover these relevant sectors and activities:

a. vital services, infrastructure and management of business campuses

b. sensitive technologies and highly sensitive technologies

c. sector-specific frameworks in mining, natural gas, telecommunications and electricity


Vital Services, Infrastructure and Business Campuses

This category contains vital services and infrastructure that must be maintained to ensure the normal functioning of the Dutch society. These include (i) heat transport, (ii) nuclear energy, (iii) civil aviation, (iv) activities related to the port of Rotterdam, (v) banking, (vi) capital markets, (vii) natural gas exploration and transport, and (viii) natural gas storage. A business campus is defined as an area with public-private partnerships for working on technologies and applications that are of economic and strategic importance to the Netherlands. 

Sensitive Technologies and Highly Sensitive Technologies

Sensitive technologies and highly sensitive technologies include (a) dual-use products (Annex I EU Dual-Use Regulation (EU 2021/821)), (b) the EU Military Goods List (2020/C 85/01) and (c) quantum mechanics, semiconductor technologies (manufacturing know-how, industrial production equipment and design software), high assurance technologies and photonics.

Mining, Natural Gas, Telecommunications and Electricity Sectors

The mining, natural gas, telecommunications and electricity sectors already have their own sectoral FDI notification rules in place.

To find out more about the relevant rules and regulations, read our ICLG publication.


We advise clients on how Dutch and European regulations apply, the chances that the BTI will object to a specific investment, and how to optimise transactions and remedies in the event of such an objection. Drawing on our extensive international network, we also advise on risks and reporting obligations in other jurisdictions. We furthermore coordinate notifications for our clients in various jurisdictions: both regular merger notifications and the full FDI notification process.

Our FDI team are highly skilled and experienced in all matters relating to FDIs.
  • Assisted Nexperia in relation to the Dutch Investment Screening Bureau's (BTI) retroactive investigation into the already completed acquisition of NOWI

  • Advised Siemens with its acquisition of Sqills, a leading provider in the provision of cloud-based inventory management, reservation, and ticketing software to public transport operators around the world. The agreed purchase price is EUR 550 million plus an earn out.
  • Advised Veritas Capital, in cooperation with Skadden, on possible objections under the Economy and National Security Bill regarding its USD 3 billion acquisition of Cubic, a producer of C4ISR software for the US Army.
  • Assisted Chinese Wingtech Technology Co. Ltd (the world's largest smartphone contract manufacturer) together with JunHe LLP (Wingtech's PRC advisor) in the acquisition of a majority stake in semiconductor firm Nexperia.

Key Contact

Advocaat | Partner
Yvo de Vries

Key Contact

Advocaat | Partner

Key Contact

Advocaat | Senior Associate