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Clandestine Entry

Who can be fined under the Clandestine Entry rules?
Owners, Operators and Drivers of vehicles found to have persons on board can be fined.

In what circumstances can I challenge a clandestine entry civil penalty?

  • If you did not know and had no reasonable grounds for suspecting clandestine entrants might be concealed in the transporter.
  • There was an effective system in operation in relation to the transporter to prevent the carriage of clandestine entrants.
  • That on the occasion when clandestine entrants were transported the person operating the system to prevent the carriage of clandestine entrants did so properly.

How can I avoid the risk of a civil penalty?
It is important that you consider the guidance on how to secure your vehicle. The www.gov.uk/guidance/secure-your-vehicle-to-help-stop-illegal-immigration site contains useful information including check lists. If you can demonstrate when travelling through hotspots for clandestine entry that the check list is used and also take photos on a smart phone of the security measures along with the checklist you will be in the best position to argue a defence.

How can I minimise any fines?
It is important to make strong representations when invited to do so by the Border Force. This will help reduce the penalty or if you have a defence potentially avoid the penalty. You can also appeal to the County Court.

Where can I find more detailed guidance?
Search for “Civil penalty prevention of clandestine entrants: code of practice”

Can I insure against these civil penalties?
It is possible to obtain insurance which will cover civil penalties. You should discuss this with your insurance broker.

The vehicle I am driving does not have adequate security measures to prevent clandestine entrants what should I do?
As a driver you are at risk of being fined. The fines for these cases are often excessive and could be many times your monthly pay. You must bring to your employer’s attention that the vehicle is not secure. It is your decision whether to drive the vehicle but it will not be a defence that you brought the failings to the attention of your employer. If you refuse to drive the vehicle due to it having inadequate security and if your employer dismisses you then you should seek employment law advice.