Helpline : +44 (0) 333 014 2850


Only 10% are checked

Passing the border without being stopped is not a confirmation of anything, except that Border Force simply cannot check every single vehicle.

Make sure you are not relying on the driver to inform you of a problem (in some cases, he may be involved). Border Force will normally only inform other Government Agencies or third parties if the load is for human consumption. Remember, even then, 90% of the vehicles are unchecked.

We recommend carrying out your own spot checks. Particularly when using sub-contractors.

Prevention is better than cure...

...equally, 'where there's a will, there's a way'. Over recent years we have seen a shift from prevention to DETECTION. Recognising there is very little that can be done to stem the flow of migrants, the emphasis has shifted to detecting if/when they are (or have been) on board.

You should ensure that your vehicle checks are regular and effective. We recommend that you register with the Civil Penalty Accreditation Scheme (CPAS) as this can assist should you appeal against penalties imposed by Border Force.

Come clean

Because of the flexibility of foreign hauliers (particularly Eastern Europeans), a great many loads are now sub-contracted to 3rd parties. This immediately weakens your control of the transport flow and needs to be carefully managed.

Problems occur.  It's how you deal with them that singles you out from the rest.  If you suspect stowaways have been on board - own up, don't cover up!    Your client may already be aware of a problem.    

HACCP load checking facilities exist so you can manage any irregularities in a pro-active and professional manner rather than fire-fighting when the delivery fails (and suffering the damage to reputation).

Civil Penalty

Be careful : Border Force can issue a maximum penalty of £2000 per migrant detected in your vehicle.   This penalty can be issued to you AND the driver.   If the driver does not pay the liability could pass to you.

Your vehicle may be seized if the fine is not paid. 

Smith Bowyer Clarke are specialist transport lawyers and have an excellent track record of successfully reducing or cancelling penalties.   Read their article here

If you receive a Border Force Penalty Notice contact the helpline and you will be put in touch with an expert immediately.
Share by: