One major issue that continually faces hauliers is the threat of clandestine entrants attempting to gain access into another country by stowing away on your vehicle and unwittingly becoming victims of people-smuggling gangs. Making sure that you know what to look out for is vital in order to ensure that you aren’t on the receiving end of a fine or something potentially worse.
If a clandestine entrant is found in your vehicle, you could receive a hefty fine of up to £2,000 for each person found. This makes it extremely important for you to take all the necessary precautions.
The official Government advice suggests that an effective system for preventing clandestine entrants includes:
Security devices to secure the vehicle- (e.g. padlocks)
Training for drivers on how to effectively secure the vehicle
Security checklists - ensuring that everything has been checked thoroughly and that anything noticeable has been recorded on the checklist. For example, if there is any damage to the vehicle prior to setting off, this should be documented. Update this checklist throughout each journey
Watch the vehicle when it is loaded to make sure nobody climbs on board
After goods have been loaded onto the vehicle, it is crucial that you ensure that the vehicle is secure and integral doors have been locked
At every stop during the journey your vehicle must be thoroughly checked. Prior to arrival at the UK control zone the vehicle must be checked again
If damage has occurred to the side curtains, doors etc, check the load space and reapply necessary security devices
If you suspect that somebody has boarded the vehicle, contact the police
Currently, providing that you comply with all of the preventative regulations, if your vehicle is found to have a clandestine entrant on board you will not receive a fine. However, there are proposed amendments to this ruling and the Government is looking to impose an automatic fine to anyone found to have a clandestine entrant on board. This proposal is causing controversy as many people do not believe it is fair to impose a fine on those who have taken all reasonable precautions to prevent this from happening.
“When an individual takes all reasonable measures to mitigate the risk of illegal entrants, it is unfair to deprive the vehicle operator of any defence and simply issue an automatic penalty, the cost of which will be prohibitive for many smaller operators.”- Logistics UK
It is now more important than ever to ensure that you are maintaining checks of your vehicle and complying with all necessary precautions to avoid clandestine entrants boarding your vehicle. For more information check out our helpful guide.