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New border inspection post for meat and animal feed in North Sea Port: inspection of container shipments from outside the EU possible in Ghent

Published on Wed 11 Dec 2019
From April 2020, Belgian customs and the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV) will also be able to inspect animal products such as meat and certain animal feeds from outside the European Union in Ghent.

North Sea Port is building a border inspection post for these products, which are usually transported in containers.

Until now, veterinary import inspections of such products has had to take place in the port of Antwerp in order to enter Belgium. The goods would then be transported by road to Ghent. This will change from April 2020. Packaged animal products will be able to arrive directly by seagoing vessel in Ghent and be inspected there. In addition, animal products will be able to arrive by seagoing vessel in Antwerp, be transferred directly to another ship and then be transported to Ghent along the Scheldt and the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, to be checked at the border inspection post there. The Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FAVV) and the European Commission have already given their approval.

Inspection of animal feed and customs formalities under one roof

North Sea Port is currently building this border inspection post. From April 2020, FAVV and customs will inspect containers, examine samples in the laboratory and perform administrative operations there at one and the same location. This more efficient service will ensure a smoother flow of the goods entering the port. The border checkpoint will also help meet the challenges of a potential Brexit.

Extensive network of hinterland connections

Due to the use of transport over the water, the number of trucks will decrease. This is in line with North Sea Port's decision to focus on more sustainable transport by water. And as a multimodal deep-sea port, North Sea Port facilitates the transport of these products via its extensive network of hinterland connections – in particular for container transhipment.

Extended range of products for inspection

With this border inspection post, North Sea Port will be able to substantially extend the range of products that can be inspected in Ghent. At present, North Sea Port in Ghent only has a border inspection post for veterinary import controls on animal fats and bulk oils. North Sea Port also has a border inspection post in its Dutch part (Vlissingen).