Freight News, Road

Government to consult on people-smuggling penalties

[ March 10, 2016   //   ]

The UK is reviewing the civil penalty regime for truck drivers found with clandestines aboard their vehicles, reports London-based Pysdens Solicitors. The consultation, which was announced on 7 march, will run for six weeks until 18 April and will be targeted mainly on hauliers and transporters along with regulators and law enforcement bodies.
The existing regime has not been changed for ten years but there have since been developments in both vehicle security and the methods used by people-smugglers.
According to Pysdens, the National Audit Office estimates the cost of an attempted (failed) entry to a vehicle at £3,000-25,000 and that there were around 40,000 attempts prevented last year at the main French Channel ports, “but how much was collected in fines and did this cover the cost of management of the regime and repatriation costs of econonomic migrants?” it asks. Also: “How much was lost by carriers defending themselves and losing the use of their vehicle for a substantial period of time?”
Pysdens also sees “a veiled request to UK carriers to ensure that when dealing with foreign subcontractors or partners [that] they manage them effectively to ensure they are complying with the required standards of security as well.”
The solicitors add that the Government may be considering further refinements to the existing banded system of penalties to encourage carriers to invest in better security.
It adds: “We shall be monitoring the revised codes of practice…to see if there has been a real exercise in partnership…or whether the outcome would have the effect of tightening the regime in such a way that ever greater costs are imposed on the carriers.”