BIFAlink March 2023


Policy & Compliance

Changes to the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme

Even though they may not operate their own vehicles, it is important that Members are aware of important changes to the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme, which governs penalties levied against drivers and companies when clandestine entrants are found in vehicles entering the UK. Penalty increases As part of the controversial package of reforms in the Nationality and Borders Act 2022, the UK government plans to toughen up penalties in the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme, with one type of fine set to increase by up to 500%. The penalty for carrying ‘clandestine entrants’ would increase from £2,000 per entrant to potentially £10,000 per entrant under the revised scheme, although the Home Secretary “will consider requests from responsible persons to apply means testing to reduce any remaining level of penalty”. The UK government plans to toughen up penalties in the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme, with one type of fine set to increase by up to 500%

addition making the failure to secure a vehicle an offence punishable with a fine. Regulation 19 of the Carriers Liability (Amendment) Regulation 2023 – 29 is the ‘SCHEDULE’ that lists the standard checks that will be expected to be done by the driver, and a record of these checks needs to be made. The most controversial item is in all probability Item 11, whereby, whilst it is acknowledged that a driver cannot check the integrity of the roof from the outside, it will be a requirement for the driver to check from the inside – in other words open the doors. This is not always possible/feasible, particularly if the load has been sealed for Customs reasons, or the trader uses a ‘smart seal’ on the trailer and only the destination has the relevant code to unlock the trailer/vehicle, or unless a Customs officer requires an inspection, when the consignee will have to provide it. There are other issues to consider such as trying to do this in bad weather and/or in the dark, or if the trailer has been loaded in such a way as makes seeing the roof difficult.

The level of penalties is set considerably higher than previously imposed, but there are ways of reducing them such as signing up to the Civil Penalty Accreditation Scheme. The size of a company will also be taken into account. Documents/links: Further information on the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme effective 13 February is available via the QR code or from:

Aggregate fines may be higher “The maximum aggregate penalty per

clandestine entrant will be increased from £4,000 to £12,000 for a first incident, and £20,000 for a second or subsequent incident in the past five years.” The draft guidelines state that if two people are discovered in a commercial vehicle, the driver and the operator may be jointly liable for a penalty of £20,000. Failure to secure a vehicle In a new development, it is essential to note that owners, hirers or drivers would also be fined if they fail to secure a vehicle to prevent clandestine entry in accordance with government regulations, even if no clandestine entrants are on board, to the tune of £1,500 per responsible person for a first incident. This is an important

e-entrant-civil-penalty- scheme including links to the Secure Check Record available in English and 22 other European languages ranging from Albanian to Welsh.

Information on the Civil Penalty Accreditation Scheme for hauliers is available at penalty-accreditation-scheme


March 2023

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