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          Clandestine Entrants

          DWF LLP can provide you with the bespoke advice you need to ensure you meet your responsibilities when it comes to clandestine entrants. 

          For Transport advice, please contact us on 0161 603 5389.

          DWF's transport lawyers can provide advice and guidance to operators on: 

          • What is an 'effective system' for preventing clandestine entrants and how to implement one;
          • A pre-decision review letter you have received; or
          • Appealing a decision made by the UK Border Agency. 

          What is a clandestine entrant?

          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.

          What are the penalties for being caught with clandestine entrants in carriage? 

          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. 

          Preventative Measures

          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.

          Contact DWF if you require advice on:

          • What is an 'effective system' for preventing clandestine entrants and how to implement one;
          • A pre-decision review letter you have received; or
          • Appealing a decision made by the UK Border Agency. 

          • Implement a clear system to prevent people hiding in and on their vehicles.
          • Produce a clandestine entrant policy including clear written instructions on the system.
          • Provide handbooks to drivers enclosing the clandestine entrant policy and UK Border Force guidance.
          • Provide drivers with security equipment to secure their vehicle, load and load space.
          • Provide adequate ongoing training to all drivers in relation to the system to be operated to prevent clandestine entrants and the application of security devices.
          • Monitor the drivers’ compliance with the clandestine entrant’s policy. Failure to comply with the clandestine entrant’s policy by drivers should lead to disciplinary action.
          • Provide all drivers with vehicle security checklists for drivers to record the checks that they have carried out to prevent clandestine entrants.

          • Ensure compliance with the operator’s system to prevent clandestine entrants.
          • Secure vehicles after loading, for example, using a padlock, seals, and tilt (TIR) cord.
          • Check vehicles after each stop, physically pulling security devices to ensure they are intact, inspecting the vehicle underside, windbreaker, roof and canvas etc and record these checks.
          • Conduct a thorough final check of the vehicle immediately before entering the port area, recording this.

          Vikki Woodfine

          • Partner // Head of Road Transport & Logistics // Head of Regulatory Compliance & Investigations (North West)

          Joanne Witheford

          • Deputy Head of Road Haulage & Logistics // Senior Associate