Drugs are taking a heavy toll on society all around the world. It is a complicated problem that consists of several elements: from the production and supply of drugs to their sale and use. Drug addiction has a devastating physical and social effect on people and communities. Because of the large amount of money involved, the drug trade also causes violence and other forms of criminal activity. 

Why is Port of Antwerp-Bruges afflicted so much by drug trafficking?

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a gateway to Europe. Antwerp and Zeebrugge are surrounded by an extensive network of international motorways.


Unfortunately, the advantages that make Port of Antwerp-Bruges an easily accessible world port also mean it has to contend with a portion of the international drug traffic. Drugs arriving here are not only destined for the Belgian market. A large proportion of them are transported to other European countries illegally. 

What is Port of Antwerp-Bruges doing to tackle drug trafficking?

Customs is committed to scanning as many suspicious containers as possible. To achieve this, customs are purchasing more scanners. But there is no miracle solution to stop drug trafficking. This is why it is essential to tackle the drugs problem on several fronts at the same time.

Also Port of Antwerp-Bruges is making efforts

  • Collaboration
    The City of Antwerp, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, the local and federal police, judicial services, customs, the Harbour Master's Office, companies at the port, including the container terminals and everyone who works at the port, all work together in the fight against international drug trafficking. 
  • Physical security of container terminals and access control
    The Harbour Master's Office oversees terminals' proper compliance with ISPS security procedures and obliges an access and registration policy for all businesses in the port. That way, people cannot just come and go as they please. In addition, the container terminal operators take extra measures to protect their employees, activities and company premises. They strictly supervise who has access.
  • Virtual secure port
    Port of Antwerp-Bruges is aiming to create a digital ‘security network’ for the port. To this end, we are using cameras, sensors and various computer systems. The Certified Pick-Up platform, for example, ensures that the picking up of containers is digitally secured and that it is always possible to find out who picked up a particular container.
  • Awareness-raising among port staff
    Drug gangs put pressure on port staff to help them with drug trafficking. Anyone who helps with drug smuggling at the port, in whatever way and for whatever reason, risks heavy prison sentences. This is why it is important to inform port staff of the dangers of drug trafficking and to protect them from criminal organisations. CEPA sensitizes port workers and makes them aware of the dangers of drug trafficking for their personal safety and the safety of their families.
  • ‘Our Port Drug-Free’ reporting point
    How can you help to keep the port drug-free? By reporting suspicious situations! Your report could help the police with their investigation, meaning they can act in a more targeted and effective manner. Report suspicious situations anonymously at 'Our Port Drug-Free' reporting point.

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