Clandestine entrants – A hidden person can mean a hidden fine
Clandestine entrants can be a huge issue for international operators. If just one clandestine entrant is found on a vehicle, both the operator and the driver can each be fined up to £2,000 (a total of £4,000 per clandestine), regardless of whether the operator/driver knew that they were on the vehicle. As the fine is per clandestine entrant, if more than one is found, the fines can quickly add up.
If an operator can show that they had an effective system in place for the prevention of clandestine entrants, and this system was properly operated on the occasion in question, then the operator may be able to avoid the penalty.
Border Force have a Civil Penalty Accreditation Scheme (‘the Scheme’) for operators that are able to demonstrate that they have an effective system in place for preventing clandestine entrants. If a member of the Scheme is found with clandestine entrants on its vehicles, the member may avoid a fine, provided that it can be shown that they were operating in accordance with the effective systems they have adopted.
Backhouse Jones frequently deal with operators that have incurred penalties as a result of clandestine entrants being found on their vehicles. Even with the uncertainty around Brexit, it is unlikely that the Scheme will be removed, therefore Backhouse Jones are now offering a package to help operators to become accredited. Becoming accredited will not only assist operators in reducing the potential for clandestine entrants to be found on a vehicle but also increase the protection for drivers operating the vehicles cross borders. In the event that clandestine entrants are found on their vehicles whilst operating within the accredited scheme, the exposure to potential fines being imposed by Border Force is substantially reduced.
As part of the package, Backhouse Jones will review the operator’s current systems to prevent clandestine entrants, offer guidance on how to improve these systems to the standard expected by Border Force and help operators to complete the application form to become accredited. Backhouse Jones are offering this service for operators from £999 plus VAT, or from £750 plus VAT if we have filed a notice of objection to a penalty for your business in the last 12 months (less than half of the penalty for one clandestine entrant).
Should you wish to find out more, please contact one of our Dispute Resolution team on 01254 828 300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.