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Author Topic: Stopped from taking photos in Antwerp  (Read 3801 times)
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Russell Judge
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« on: September 24, 2020, 03:15:33 pm »

Following my visit to Terneuzen, I drove to the new docks on the east bank.
I stopped at the bottom of Deurganchdok to photo the containerships and almost immediately a van pulled and some official stopped me and said photography was banned and he insisted that I delete the photos I had taken. When I pointed out all the others were taken elsewhere, he was OK.
I didn’t really mind as I had duplicates on another camera!
Looked on Antwerp Port Authority website but as I was on a public road, don’t think I was doing wrong.
Anyone else had a problem?
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Jos Hoogesteger

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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2020, 06:29:25 pm »

Hi Russell,
In the summer of 2019 I was still at the end of the Deurganckdock and was able to take pictures of the moored ships there. I could just park the car there and I didn't see anyone or see any signs indicating that this was not allowed.
It is true that you are officially not allowed to take photos of installations of the companies located there, maybe that is the problem?
Greetings, Jos Hoogesteger
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Daniel Bérubé
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 11:00:46 pm »

I visited some of these places around 2005 and was only attacked by angry birds who seemed to own nests aroud there...
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Christian
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2020, 02:51:33 am »

If you were taking pics in public area...

I would call police on him! Did he showed his ID or told you why no pics ?
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davidships
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2020, 05:25:36 pm »

Isn't that the west bank of the Scheldt, Russell? Huh
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simonwp
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 05:54:45 pm »

Maybe some Belgian member can clarify, but I believe there are still some laws on the Belgian statute book from the time of the First World War that prohibits photography of all sorts on industrial and commercial facilities, including docks and shipping. Very rarely, if ever, used these days. I don't know if anyone other than law enforcement can enforce them, and it's unclear who this particular person was, but it's worth having this in the back of your mind. I was once stopped by port security in Zeebrugge in the 1980's from taking photographs while waiting for North Sea Ferries, and this came up in the discussion we had. Photographed in Belgium many times before and since with no problems.
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Jonathan Simpson
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 07:46:08 pm »

Sadly in the Netherlands and Belgium, I have been stopped more times than I can remember in the last few years. On the Dutch side it has been particularly bad between Terneuzen and Walsoorden, when I have asked it has always been because of 'Drugs' and my interest in ships and the river. More recently it has  felt it was because I am in a British car, as they never seem to take an interest in the locals?

In Antwerp a few years ago at the Boudewijnsluis I was stopped by a port official not for taking photos but for concerns I was fishing, something that is now banned along the Belgium part of the river after it was implied Eastern Europeans had cleared the river of Fish stocks.

In the 90's I was occasionally stopped in Antwerp and my passport checked by the Police, but never told
I couldn’t take photos. In fact I am old enough to remember the Port of Antwerp once issued written permission to take photos, a letter I kept with me & I can remember using it at least once when challenged by a private guard. Ghent was another Belgium port that issued photo permits.

Last year I was challenged, whilst standing outside the fence of a container terminal in Antwerp, near the Berendrechtsluis, I had no idea what he was saying or what his problem was, so politely smiled and moved on.

I think we have to assume recruits joining modern Police, Customs, Security agencies etc, are now being trained to root out drugs and terrorists like never before and I don't suppose anyone has educated them on Ship Enthusiasts, that were once welcomed in Ports, but now have to reside on the banks of rivers etc. Sadly being stopped by officials seems to be one of things we have to occasionally accept in the modern world as an Enthusiast of most modes transport.

I believe hand held scanners are banned in Belgium, I don’t know if this is still the case?
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Cedric Hacke
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2020, 08:14:15 am »

As a Belgian member I can clarify that there are a lot of problems with drugs in and around the harbour. Police are having a big crackdown so that might be part of the issue. There was a big media frenzy this summer after multiple grenades were exploded in front of the holes of key port workers such as planners for container companies.

I live near the coast (quite some distance from Antwerp) and have never been shipspotting there myself. I have never been stopped taking pictures in Oostende or Zeebrugge but then again I always shoot from public areas and never go in “port zones” (havengebied) to take pictures. I know Zeebrugge requires a permit for accessing port areas and another one for taking pictures there. Antwerp probably has similar rules due to the drug problems. As far as I know, there should not be any problems if you take pictures from public areas.

Kind regards
Cedric
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Christian
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2020, 12:10:38 am »

What do you mean drug problem ?

They smuggle drugs or just like drug dealers etc ?

Can you help us understand, when I was in Antwerpen and took boat trip, no problems!
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Cedric Hacke
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2020, 12:28:33 pm »

There is said to be a large influx of drugs into Belgium (and perhaps via there the rest of Europe) from the port of Antwerp.

If you take a normal boat trip and go to publicly accessible areas, you should be fine. However if you are in a port zone, police or harbour security may stop you or question what you are doong.
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Russell Judge
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2020, 08:19:29 am »

I have been in touch with the Port of Antwerp Authority who confirm that, as I was on a public road, there should have been no problem.
In fact they suggested that I take a copy of their e-mail to show to anyone preventing photography.
Really helpful people.
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