Shipping companies make agreements with the Netherlands and Belgium on combating drugs

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The Netherlands, Belgium and five international shipping companies have made agreements that should help combat the international smuggling of cocaine in containers. One of the plans is to introduce “smart” containers that give a signal if they are tampered with. The Netherlands and Belgium also want screening of employees of shipping companies. The two countries and the five companies will also exchange more information and make agreements about better security.

At sea

It seems that Antwerp and Rotterdam are currently the center of gravity for the import of cocaine in Europe. Security in the Netherlands and Belgium is increasing. Belgium announced a new package of measures this week.

By working together with major shipping companies, the Netherlands and Belgium also want to improve security at sea and in the ports in South and Central America. Agreements have been made with MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag Lloyd and Seatrade.


In the United States, the world’s largest container carrier – MSC – is involved in legal proceedings with the federal government. They want to impose high fines on the company, collect compensation and enforce much better security measures. In recent years, several sample seizures of cocaine have been made aboard MSC container ships, possibly involving seafarers.

In January there was an incident on an MSC container ship on its way to Antwerp.

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