5 Jun 2006

New Caledonia port faces terrorism blacklisting

3:29 pm on 5 June 2006

New Caledonia's main port may be declared an international security risk after unionists seized control of the facility to prevent the world's biggest shipping company, Maersk, from docking in Noumea.

A Maersk cargo vessel aborted its docking at the weekend because there were no police and customs officials whose presence is required to comply with new international anti-terrorism conventions.

If a ship docks at a port deemed lacking in security it risks being put in quarantine once it reaches the next port.

Armed with molotov cocktails and iron bars, members of the USTKE union have been in control of the port since last month in a campaign to stop global shipping giants from calling at the port of Noumea.

Another company, MSC, has said it will take France to the European Court of Justice over the situation in Noumea.