North Sea Port works with companies, authorities and citizens to ensure safety in our port

Published on Fri 2 Dec 2022
Last year, nearly 130 million tons of goods passed through the port. How do we know exactly what goods are entering North Sea Port, and whether they meet regulations? You have to carry out checks.

Customs officer Ed Barneveld takes us behind the scenes. "Today we're checking a ship from South America with a cargo of bananas for illegal products. On the waybill we see how many bananas are onboard, and how they're distributed in the hold. That lets us indicate which hold needs to be unloaded for inspection."

Together with citizens

Customs doesn't carry out those checks alone. In November 2022, the East Flanders Federal Police announced the 'Haven Informatie Kruispunt' (Port Information Exchange), explains chief commissioner Patrick Willocx: "There, citizens can report suspicious situations that occur in the port of Ghent. You can provide your contact details, but you can also report anonymously." For Belgium you can do that on The Netherlands already has a contact point of this kind:

Of course, the port doesn't only check for illegal products and suspicious situations, points out Hanneke de Bruin from Lineage (formerly Kloosterboer): "At our border control station, freight shipments from outside the European Union are subject to quality controls. For example, a crate of fish from England was just delivered here, and that's no longer in the European Union, of course."

Onze Haven is a report about North Sea Port that's also broadcast every two weeks on Wednesdays on the Nederlandse Omroep Zeeland (5:15 pm) and the East Flanders regional channel AVS (6:00 pm). You can also find all previous episodes on our YouTube channel.