Over the past two days, lorries with dangerous goods were stopped and checked at the border with France and at the Howald Customs Centre.
The initiative occurred in the context an international collaboration project which has been running through Europe for two years. This year, it was Luxembourg’s turn.
Pascal Grisius worked in a team of 40 customs officials, including colleagues from countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Spain. The officials stopped and searched lorries carrying chemical or physical objects which could be dangerous to humans or the environment.
A crucial point when transporting dangerous goods is adhering to correct forms of stowage, which was where some lorries fell short. As one lorry showed, there had been no care in ensuring the goods had been appropriately secured. Belts meant to secure dangerous containers were just loose, making the situation even more dangerous as the lorry was carrying flammable fluids.
It is clear why these searches are important, as failing to secure cargo is a recurring problem. On average, customs officials stop 30 lorries a week in Luxembourg and encounter the lack of appropriate stowage far too often. The issue lies in the fact that if a driver who has not secured his cargo encounters traffic and has to brake suddenly, his cargo could fall off the lorry and cause potential accidents.
In this case, the lorry driver received a €145 taxed warning and was prohibited from continuing his journey until he secured his goods. So far, the searches had proved successful. Officials stopped 37 lorries and provided 23 taxed warnings requiring immediate payment. Once paid, lorry drivers could continue their journeys. However, the officials did have to immobilise four lorries, three of those times due to incorrect loading and one time as the driver’s paperwork did not conform to regulation.