The UK Government introduced changes to its Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme, which came into effect on 13th February 2023. Under the scheme anyone bringing a vehicle into the UK must ensure it is adequately secured, to prevent clandestines entering the UK illegally. Failure to do so could result in a large fine, applicable to vehicle owners, operators and drivers.
The changes introduced will see a significant increase to the fines that can be imposed, rocketing from the previous £2,000 figure to £10,000, for each entrant carried. In another significant step, the changes will also empower officials with the option to impose fines of up to £6,000 if a vehicle is deemed to be inadequately secured, even where no clandestine is found.
Further details on the updated legislation can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1999/33/part/II.
Industry Response – Supply Chain Impact
The changes have been met with outrage from many within the sector, as it is believed they have the potential to penalise innocent drivers and hauliers, damaging trade. Raluca Marian, Director of EU Advocacy at the IRU said “Huge increases in penalties, combined with the suppression of the presumption of innocence for truck drivers and transport operators, will deter even more transport firms from running these crucial freight routes across the English Channel, without providing a solution to the clandestine immigration challenge.”1
Indeed, these changes do not address the root issues surrounding the challenges of clandestine immigration and in fact for some businesses, the changes could be yet another barrier preventing trade or even the end of their business with the UK, as the added financial risks of possible penalties make shipping to the UK less and less attractive.
The Government must work with industry operators to ensure they and their drivers are not unfairly punished.
Chris Yarsley, Senior Policy Manager at Logistics UK, added: “We hope that government will work with the sector to help compliant operators demonstrate they are making every effort to comply with the new rules. Our nation’s highly interconnected supply chain relies on the smooth movement of goods from across the EU…and any delay to goods would be detrimental to trade and could deter future movements of goods to the UK.”2.
Securing Your Vehicles – How Maple can help!
The best approach is simply to ensure that your vehicles have adequate security measures in place to prevent clandestine entry. In short, it has never been more important to maintain strict load integrity and security on your vehicles.
Traditional manual sealing methods, such as padlocks or single use seals, may offer little or no protection, being easily compromised or incorrectly applied and cannot provide any real measure of accountability. So how can you ensure complete control of your goods in transit and maintain integrity during every stage of its journey?
Maple’s Integritas can help:
🔒 High Security Locking – Protection for cargo areas
🔒 Electronic Sealing – Automatically generated 5 digit electronic seal numbers
🔒 Access Control – Industry leading solutions designed for fleet operators
🔒 Audit Trail – Obtain previously unobtainable information about all door events
🔒 Reporting Suite – All data & audit trails can be viewed via secure web portal
🔒 Emergency Access – Secure access codes provide entry if no keyfob available
Integritas combines high security locking with an industry leading access control solution, completely automating sealing procedures. Information is made available on all door events and can be viewed through a secure web portal. Speak to Maple to see how we can help secure your fleet.
What can you do to prevent clandestine entry and potential fines?
UK Border Force published the following Guidance which also lists details on how hauliers can join the Border Force Civil Penalty Accreditation Scheme. The scheme is offered to those who consistently maintain high standards of vehicle security and comply with Government requirements. Membership can significantly reduce penalties.
A summary of the guidance is below.
DRIVERS – MUST SECURE
- Secure soft sided vehicles with a tilt cord, passed tightly through all eyelets and winders.
- Secure the ends of the tilt cord with either a uniquely numbered seal or lock.
- Record the seal number on a checklist.
- If the inside of the vehicle is checked during the journey, the driver must reapply the lock, tilt cord or other security device and/or apply a new seal.
- Hard sided and refrigerated vehicles should be secured with a seal, lock or other security device.
- Drivers should have spare seals to reseal the vehicle after each check.
- Vehicle owners must provide drivers with appropriate means of securing the vehicle, including tilt cord, seals or locks.
DRIVERS – MUST CHECK
- Check a vehicle on first loading for any signs of unauthorised access and check again after each stop to ensure no unauthorised persons have gained entry to the load.
- Regularly check seals, locks, tilt cords or other security devices for signs of damage or tampering before and during the journey.
- Check the sides and roof of the vehicle and check all external compartments for stowaways.
DRIVERS – MUST RECORD
- Enter on a checklist all inspections and checks made throughout the journey.
- Record the date, time and location of each check and record all seal numbers on the checklist.
- Vehicle owners must provide drivers with means of record keeping such as checklists and written instructions before the start of every journey.
- Supply chains at risk with new UK clandestine entrant scheme – IRU 19/01/23
- Insights, End of the Road – TAPA EMEA 04/03/23