Following the recently expanded Maritime Security Act, which gives inland navigation and port companies more clout to better protect their sites from the drug and criminal environment, Minister Paul Van Tigchelt and Grobbendonk Mayor Marianne Verhaert visited Van Moer Logistics' Dennie Lockefeer Container Terminal. The logistics company explained what measures it can implement thanks to the new legal framework to better protect its operations against criminal infiltration.

Extension of Maritime Security Act

On Thursday 2 May 2024, a new draft law by Minister of Justice and North Sea Paul Van Tigchelt to strengthen security in ports and port facilities was approved by the plenary session of the federal parliament. This new regulatory framework builds on the Maritime Security Act, which entered into force on 1 January 2023, and now extends it to inland navigation and port companies with maritime security impact, such as ship agents.

It also further tightens controls on who gains access to ports and port facilities. This will make it harder for drug smugglers and others with bad intentions to infiltrate terminals.

Paul Van Tigchelt, Minister of Justice and North Sea: "The Maritime Security Act made great strides in the fight against organised crime and in making ports more secure. With this extension of the law, we are continuing along that line and meeting additional concrete needs on the ground. Also here in Grobbendonk along the Albert Canal and the E313. This important economic axis must be able to grow as much as possible without drug crime also gaining a foothold here. That is why we are also going to better secure inland navigation vessels and terminals along the inland waterways. The measures we have taken at the port of Antwerp are now also being applied here in cooperation with the private sector."

Terminal visit Van Moer Logistics

This extension has a major impact on companies in the private maritime sector, which will now have a legal framework to implement their security and control efforts in practice to better protect their sites from criminal intruders.

Together with Grobbendonk Mayor Marianne Verhaert, Minister Van Tigchelt visited Van Moer Logistics' Dennie Lockefeer Container Terminal on the Albert Canal this afternoon. The politicians were received by founder and CEO Jo Van Moer, who explained the planned investments for Van Moer Logistics' inland terminals regarding access control and person verification.

Jo Van Moer "Thanks to the expansion of the legal framework, we now also have a foothold to make the necessary investments to protect our sites and expand access controls. In this way, we too can do our part in the 'war on drugs' and stop the possible infiltration of the drug environment within our organisation."

The mayor of Grobbendonk, Marianne Verhaert, also sees benefit in the new legislation for the local economy and business operations. "The DLCT terminal, located along the E313 and the Albert Canal, contributes to the prosperity and sustainability of our region's mobility. The terminal took more than 26,000 trucks off the already heavily congested E313 last year. For me as mayor, it remains important that this goes hand in hand with the well-being of our residents and the wider region. Thanks to the various initiatives of the Flemish government, the Van Moer company, the Flemish Waterway and now Minister Van Tigchelt, we will succeed in this. This terminal is essential for our region and employment."