Economy – Former freight forwarder apprentice, the boss of the Ports Francs is leaving

Alain DECRAUSAZ, Director of the Free Ports, poses in a warehouse at controlled temperature and humidity.

LUCIEN FORTUNATI

Since the beginning of the month, the director of the Ports Francs, Alain Decrausaz, has been retired. In place
since 2010, deputy director since 1998, he will have seen and participated in the change of his
business. This was observed with suspicion by the Confederation six years ago, following
resounding controversies over dubious works of art, the tightening of controls and
Security measures on the site were welcomed by the Federal Audit Office last year.
Interview.

Alain Decrausaz, what is a free port for and what does it do in Geneva?

The Free Ports were founded in 1890. Initially, it was the place of storage of foodstuffs coming in particular from France and the free zone for halls. Moreover, it was located in Rive. Then he was moved to Cornavin, where he served industry instead. The trip to Praille dates back to the 1960s. Basically, the Free Ports are comparable to any large European coastal port, such as Marseille or Amsterdam. This is where part of the goods entering Switzerland are stored before being taxed there. It is also a traditional warehouse with today half of the goods stored taxed, therefore under Swiss regime. Basically, we are an exchange platform that welcomes between 800 and 900 people per day and whose product scale goes from Picasso to shrimp chips.

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