Yemen and EU in ban talks

BOLSTERED by the news of the UAE lifting its ban on accepting cargo shipments, Yemen held fresh talks on 16 January to lift the EU ban.

In an effort to alleviate concerns the minister of transport Khaled al-Wzir briefed the EU delegation on Sana’a International Airport’s attempts to strengthen security, handling and personnel programmes.

New security equipment has been installed at passenger and cargo areas. Additional security measures are in place, including a full physical search of all employees entering or leaving the airport and a 100 per cent search of all packages and cargo by means of explosive detectors. X-ray equipment and detaining of all packages and cargo for 48 hours prior to shipping have also been endorsed.

Staff at the airport including 260 security and customs personnel and 10 maintenance and technical equipment personnel recently partook in US-led training programmes on operating the explosive detectors.

In December the UAE lifted its ban after supervising a five-day training course for 26 air cargo and air shipping security personnel at the airport. The ban was imposed in October after the discovery of a plot to use explosives hidden in freight shipments to blow up cargo airliners bound for the US.

In January talks with the EU the minister made it clear that relationships with shipping companies have been re-addressed as well as regulations, licenses and procedures required in order to allow such companies to carry out safe shipping operations.

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