very month there are thousands of attempts by illegal immigrants to gain unauthorized access to vehicles en route to UK. Keeping your vehicle and trailer secure against stowaways can be a challenge. If the UK Border Force or Customs discovers immigrants in one of your vehicles, you may face a heavy fine up to up to £2,000 per illegal entry. Furthermore, your cargo is valuable. If clandestine entrants enter your vehicle, they may cause damage to the cargo, and its recipient may reject it. This can cause more complications, prolonged discussions and it may jeopardize successful business relations.
There are important pillars that every transport company should focus on when performing transport courses in and outside United Kingdom. Not only the overall safety of the driver and the freight can be increased, but carriers also have to act in compliance with all guidelines and requirements, the following key points should be considered:
1.Secure loading and unloading🧳
Those in control of loading / unloading operations, should check the vehicle prior departure. When possible, drivers should aim to park at secure facilities and always check for cuts or tears in the outer shell or fabric of the vehicle.
2.Vehicle security checklists and written instructions for the drivers 🗐
All drivers should have, and consistently use vehicle security checklists. Ideally the operators should fill their check list three times a day from the day of the loading. You can print an appropriate security checklist directly from the government site
3.Provide additional training to drivers🏫
All drivers should have an adequate training that covers processes, including what to do if they find any clandestine entrants on board. Their training should cover truck security, vulnerable spots on their vehicle and how to use the checklist correctly.
4.Provision of the right equipment🔧
Security devices, such as padlocks, seals and tilt cord, should be used to secure a vehicle as soon as it is loaded. This prevents stowaways from climbing on board once a loaded truck is left unattended. Security equipment should be checked at regular intervals.
Drivers should check their vehicle at the end of every stop and before they cross a border. If a driver suspects someone is attempting to enter their vehicle or has entered their vehicle, they should contact local police as soon as it is safe to do so. Drivers should not attempt to approach the stowaway themselves.
Companies can join an accreditation scheme to help reduce penalties. To qualify they must have an effective security system for their vehicles and be in complete compliance with all requirements.
The Civil Penalty Code of Practice is an important document for all hauliers and truck drivers to read. You can download it from here:
How can you defend against a civil penalty? 🛡️
If clandestine entrants are found in your vehicle after arriving in the UK, you and your company may receive a Notice of Liability to a Penalty IS11 Letter form Border Force. At this stage, no decision has been made regarding the imposition of any penalty. You now have 28 days from the date of the letter to respond and present your justifications and prove that you did not know or did not have reasonable grounds to suspect that a clandestine entrant was hidden in the vehicle and that you had secure systems in place which were properly operated at the time of the breach.
If you don’t manage to convince Border Force and find yourself in this unfortunate position, you will receive a second letter Notice of Penalty and an IS11 Form. This will tell you how much you are being fined and will invite you to file a Notice of Objection to Border force.
If after filing the Notice of Objection, the Border Force’s decision is still unfair, your only option is to appeal this to the County Court. You should make an appeal on Form N161 and pay court fee when sending your appeal. Judge will review your case and will make a decision whether the fine was properly imposed on you. The judge can diminish the fine or even abolish it completely, hence it is crucial to guarantee that your case is properly presented.
It is a difficult and expensive problem to resolve that’s why having a reliable and trustful guidance determines the course of events. Our company Claims Trans have advanced experience in the communication with key institutions and leads the process with agility, diligence and resilience. We know how to navigate the situation through whatever obstacle comes your way due to various cases we have represented. Our goal is to give you not only a quality and effective service but peace and vindication of right.