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A ‘clandestine entrant’ is a person who hides in or on a vehicle as it enters the UK with the aim of avoiding or attempting to avoid immigration controls.
There is maximum £4,000 financial penalty per clandestine entrant found on a vehicle. The penalty amount can be significant where there are a number of clandestine entrants found on board.
Operators and their drivers can avoid penalties if they can demonstrate that there was (1) an effective system’ in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants and (2) that the system was correctly followed.
However, persuading the UK Border Force that there is a system in place and it has been correctly followed can be a difficult task.
To reduce their exposure to penalties, vehicle operators must take active steps by having effective systems in place to prevent people hiding in or on their vehicles.
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With the crisis in Calais continuing, we discuss the ongoing risk of clandestine entrants illegally using commercial vehicles destined for the UK, the consequences for vehicles found to be carrying entrants and how both companies and drivers can take steps to secure their vehicles and minimise their risk of penalties.
Lorry Lawyer’s Vikki Woodfine recently helped the BBC in making a request under the Freedom of Information Act. Figures released by the Home Office in response showed that operators and lorry drivers have been issued penalties of more than £4m for being found with migrants in their vehicles; with the number of penalties up more than 50% since last year.
As the Calais crisis continues in what is turning out to be an awful summer for international hauliers crossing the channel between England and France we now hear that further efforts are being made between French and UK authorities to help to tackle the issues.
Hauliers, drivers, commuters and holiday makers have all been greatly affected by the ongoing crisis in Calais and it shows no sign of abating. There is no doubt that the current situation is a sad indictment of the complex immigration issues that literally permeate our borders.
We discuss the ongoing risk of clandestine entrants illegally using commercial vehicles destined for the UK, the consequences for vehicles found to be carrying entrants and how both companies and drivers can take steps to secure their vehicles and minimise their risk of penalties.