NineID Officially Recognized for Providing Biometric Access Control in Belgian Ports

NineID achieved groundbreaking recognition for their biometric access control systems from the Minister of the North Sea.
Flip Vermeersch

In a significant move to bolster port security, the Belgian Ministry of Justice has recognized two companies for their advanced biometric access control systems. This development marks a crucial step in the fight against drug smuggling and unauthorized access in Belgian ports.

The Legal Framework and Its Necessity

The maritime security law, effective since January 1, has laid the foundation for this new security measure. The law addresses a critical vulnerability in the existing system – the ease of badge and access code exploitation. Minister of Justice and the North Sea, Paul Van Tigchelt, emphasizes the importance of this law in ensuring that only authorized personnel access sensitive port areas, thereby hindering the efforts of drug smugglers and other malicious entities.

Unlike, for example, the Port of Rotterdam, the Port of Antwerp is much more difficult to secure due to its open nature with many access roads. That's why it's important that we have focused on much stricter and more efficient security of our ports with the maritime security law. This law provides, among other things, better perimeter security with more and better fencing, cameras, and now also the use of biometric data for access control, among other things.

Paul Van Tigchelt, Minister of Justice and the North Sea

This groundbreaking law is Belgium's first legal framework for processing biometric data in port security. It outlines strict conditions for companies to use biometric data, ensuring privacy and security. Recognized organizations must adhere to stringent rules, such as prohibiting the central or unencrypted storage of biometric data, to prevent potential data breaches.

Read more about the new pioneering maritime security law in Belgium and the new center role of biometric access control in port security.

Recognition of NineID

NineID emerged as one of the first two companies to receive official recognition from the Minister of the North Sea. The approval, advised by the National Authority for Maritime Security, came after thorough vetting by DG Scheepvaart and the Center for Cybersecurity. From November 1, these companies are authorized to process biometric data and offer their services to port companies.

We are delighted to receive the very first recognition to provide biometric access control in Belgian ports. It is a clear proof of the reliability of our biometric access control system and confirms our commitment to delivering advanced security solutions for the maritime sector.

Frederik Keysers, co-founder of NineID

NineID's recognition by the Minister of Justice and the North Sea underscores its commitment to providing reliable and secure biometric access control solutions. The company's collaboration with PSA Breakbulk demonstrates the effectiveness of its facial authentication system in a high-security environment.

PSA Breakbulk Sets New Standard in Port Security

In a groundbreaking move, PSA Breakbulk at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges has implemented biometric facial recognition technology, becoming the first Belgian shipping terminal to do so. This initiative, powered by Ghent-based startup NineID, aligns with the new ISPS security regulations.

PSA Breakbulk Sets New Standard in Port Security by Implementing Biometric Facial Control.

PSA Breakbulk's adoption of NineID's facial authentication technology represents a significant leap in security measures. This system enhances control over who enters the facilities, particularly the Project Cargo Ecosystem. Yves Stevens, Regional Director HSS EuroMed & Americas, highlights the system's precision and compliance with stringent ISPS regulations.

We highly value Safety & Security within our PSA Group, we therefore regularly invest in new state-of-the-art technologies. We will continue to evaluate the hands-on experience that we are now gaining at PSA Breakbulk to see if we can implement it in our other business units within EuroMed and the Americas.

Yves Stevens, Regional Director HSS EuroMed & Americas

The new system requires pre-registration involving ID scanning and selfie matching, followed by a QR code generation. Upon arrival, visitors undergo a facial scan to gain access. This process not only bolsters security but also streamlines access control.

With the introduction of biometric facial authentication, we are increasing surveillance and access control at our terminal. With this new technology, we now exceed the increasingly stringent ISPS regulations. NineID's facial verification biometric access control system offers an unprecedented level of precision and security, which is vital for the protection of our maritime operations.

Dennis Verbeeck, general manager of PSA Belgium’s Non-Container Division


The recognition of NineID, coupled with PSA Breakbulk's implementation of biometric facial control, marks a new chapter in Belgian port security. These developments not only enhance the security of the ports but also set a precedent for other countries to follow in the realm of maritime safety and drug smuggling prevention.

Flip Vermeersch

Head of Marketing

About the author:

"Don't shoot the messenger!" While Flip might not claim to be an expert himself, he's the bridge between you and the industry's best minds. He dives deep, chatting with specialists to bring you the freshest insights on everything from biometrics to business continuity. He deciphers the complex, making it relatable and digestible. Beyond insights, Flip's also the voice behind NineID's updates. Always eager for a chat, he's open to collaborative content ventures. If you're keen on the latest in security or teaming up, Flip's your guy.