Under the civil penalty legislation, road haulage companies may have to pay fines if they carry clandestine entrants to the United Kingdom in their vehicles. A clandestine entrant is a person who hides in a vehicle as it enters the United Kingdom with the aim of avoiding immigration controls.
Vehicle owners, hirers and drivers can be fined up to £2,000 for each clandestine entrant they carry.
The civil penalty accreditation scheme was set up to reduce the risk of receiving fines by ensuring that companies have effective systems to reduce clandestine entrants.
If you’re a member of the scheme and clandestine entrants are discovered in your vehicles, your company won’t be fined as owner or hirer of the vehicle as long as you’re operating in accordance with the scheme.
The scheme is open to road haulage companies of any size or nationality operating between Continental Europe and the United Kingdom.
A company must be able to show that it:
- has an effective system for preventing clandestine entrants (this is described in the prevention of clandestine entrants code of practice)
- takes reasonable measures to make sure that the system works, eg training and monitoring its drivers
The scheme is voluntary. Companies who don’t apply to join the scheme won’t be disadvantaged and will still be able to avoid fines by operating an effective system.
3. Applying to the scheme
If you think your company has an effective system in place, you can apply to join the civil penalty accreditation scheme by completing the application form.
We’ll assess your system based on the information you provide. We may also need to visit your company to discuss your processes.
If we think your company’s system meets the scheme’s requirements, we’ll write to you to let you know the start date of your accreditation.
We’ll review your accreditation on a regular basis.
4. If your company doesn’t qualify
If your company doesn’t qualify to join the scheme because your system doesn’t meet our requirements, we’ll let you know what you need to do to be compliant. You can’t appeal against our decision but you can submit further evidence at any time.
We can withdraw accreditation and fine your company if clandestine entrants are carried if:
- we discover that incorrect information has been submitted in your application
- your system isn’t as effective as when the company joined the scheme
5. If clandestine entrants are discovered in your vehicle
We may need to request evidence from your driver. The scheme doesn’t prevent us from fining drivers if they haven’t operated your system properly. If you employ the driver, your company must pay the fine imposed upon the driver.