Freight News, Road

Truckers challenge Home Office migrant penalties

[ March 15, 2016   //   ]

Two hauliers have mounted legal challenges to the Home Office’s fines on truckers found with illegal migrants on board, reports the BBC. (

The two firms – one Romanian and one Dutch – are taking separate cases to the Court of Appeal this week to challenge the legality of the system.

The trucking firms want the fines cancelled and Home Office guidelines rewritten.

The BBC quotes solicitor Rupinder Matharu, from the firm MTG, which is representing the Romanian company, whose case is due to be held on Wednesday 16 March. Her argument is that the firm followed all the Home Office guidelines on security including having copy of the guidelines translated into Romanian, checking the truck three times before arriving in Calais and not stopping close to the port

Ms Matharu said many foreign-based operators often settle fines without challenging them.

The same three judges will hear the case of Netherlands-based haulier Bolle on Thursday 17 March. The firm’s driver picked up a sealed container from Frankfurt airport in 2013 and transported it to Berkshire, where six illegal migrants were found inside.

The court has agreed to hear the case acknowledging that it “raised important questions of principle”.

The cases are the first of their kind since 2002 that have been raised in the Court of Appeal.

A few days ago, London-based Pysdens Solicitors reported that the UK was reviewing the civil penalty regime for truck drivers found with clandestines aboard their vehicles, reports  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, it said.