European Ports Alliance hopes to reduce drug smuggling and crime in ports

The European Ports Alliance was launched at Antwerp's Havenhuis on Wednesday. The new public-private partnership primarily aims to curb international drug crime and infiltration in European ports.

Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) invited members from 16 ports, including Varna (Bulgaria), Algeciras (Spain), Gdansk (Poland) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Organisations such as Aquapol and shipping and terminal associations ECSA and FEPORT were also present.

The European Port Alliance will support customs authorities and law enforcement agencies with advanced scanners or other equipment. The alliance will promote further standardisation and information exchange between European member states and private players to ensure seizures or container handling, for example, can be better coordinated.

"A structure is being set up in which all actors involved will cooperate in the fight against international drug crime," a joint statement reads. "Criminals know no borders, so police and control services must also be able to operate across borders in their fight. In addition, port operators and private companies can play an important role."

European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, like Antwerp mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA), previously paid a working visit to South American ports. "The young people who are being enlisted in the drug trade are getting younger and younger," Johannson said. "The drug trade is a huge threat to our democracy. To fight a network, you need another network."



Related news

Website preview
New digital platform aims to reduce drug trafficking in port of Antwerp |
A new certification system for containers was introduced at the Port of Antwerp on Monday in an effort to reduce illegal drug trafficking...
Website preview
Customs intercepted record quantity of 116 tonnes of cocaine in the port of Antwerp
Last year, Belgian customs confiscated a record-breaking 116 tonnes of cocaine at the port of Antwerp, Finance minister of Vincent Van Peteghem...


Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels