Belgium is a world champion in the air transport of pharmaceuticals
The Belgian airports Brussels Airport and Liège Airport have both recently been awarded the highest quality label for the transport of pharmaceuticals. This means that they are able to export pharmaceuticals from Belgium to over 200 destinations around the world under the best and safest conditions.
The pharmaceutical sector is one of Belgium's largest economic sectors. The world's ten greatest biopharmaceutical companies all have a base in our country. Belgium's export of pharmaceutical products is the second highest in Europe and valued at nearly 39 billion euros.
The country's leading position in the export of pharmaceutical products is linked to the quality of the air transport from the Belgian airports Brussels Airport and Liège Airport. Their expertise is now also officially certified. In 2014 Brussels Airport was the first airport in the world to receive the CEIV Pharma quality label from the international air transport association IATA. This label serves as the standard for the logistical handling of pharmaceutical products. Liège Airport has held the prestigious quality label since late 2015.
The CEIV Pharma label covers the entire logistical chain at the airports, ranging from transporters and distribution companies to the handling of specific cargo and airline companies. 16 Belgian logistics companies can currently boast this label. This quality control guarantees that pharmaceutical products are transported under the best conditions from the production company right up until they reach the aircraft. Pharmaceuticals such as vaccines are among the most delicate goods to be transported by air. This is why it is essential that they are transported and stored according to a global standard and in compliance with strict guidelines in terms of temperature control.
In doing so Belgium was also able to contribute to curbing the ebola crisis in West Africa. Indeed, in January 2015, the very first load of ebola vaccines, having been developed in Belgium, departed for Liberia from Brussels Airport.