Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström visits the port of Rotterdam

The Commissioner is in Rotterdam today to meet with customs officials and food safety inspectors and take a closer look at the facilities at the EU’s largest port. The Netherlands is the entry point for 40% of goods entering the continent.

Cecilia Malmström, the EU’s Commissioner for Trade, said: “Everything we import has to abide by our strict food standards. Nothing in any trade agreement will change this. I am in Rotterdam today to learn more about how the port uses risk assessments and physical searches to keep our citizens safe from illegal and unsafe products.” 

Following presentations by experts on customs, and food and consumer product safety, Commissioner Malmström made a tour of port facilities.

First, she visited the State Inspection Terminal, where customs authorities use the latest technology to scan the containers entering the port.

Secondly, the Commissioner was shown around the training centre for customs officials. The facility also has a specific dog-handling centre, where staff train the dogs to detect illegal substances.


In addition, yesterday the Commissioner announced that the EU was launching a formal dispute settlement procedure with Colombia at the World Trade Organization over the former’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Commissioner Malmström added: “Citizens need to have the confidence that the EU is standing up for their interests. That means striking trade deals across the world to open up new business opportunities and create jobs, but it also means ensuring that our trade partners stick to the rules.

This is why I am here in Rotterdam today, and this is why I instructed my department to launch a WTO dispute with Colombia as soon as possible. Since November last year they have been imposing unfair tariffs on frozen fries, causing unjustified damage to Belgian, Dutch and German companies.”


On 9 November 2018, Colombia imposed definitive anti-dumping duties of between 3% and 8% on frozen fries from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for two years, following an anti-dumping investigation.