Freight News, Road, Logistics

Truckers must not carry the can for stowaways, says Logistics UK

[ May 7, 2021   //   ]

Hauliers and drivers who are unwitting victims of people-smuggling gangs should not be penalised if all precautions have been taken to protect their vehicles, said Logistics UK in response to the government’s consultation, New Plan for Immigration, that closed on 6 May.

Government plans would see changes to the penalties under the Clandestine Entrant Civil Penalty Regime whereby drivers and hauliers can be automatically fined up to £2,000 per migrant found on board a vehicle irrespective of their compliance with security measures and schemes 

Policy manager Chris Yarsley, said: “It is vital that government recognises the regulated, industry standard schemes already in place, such as AEOS and Customs Seals which demonstrate that hauliers have implemented high security measures.” 

Logistics UK strongly opposes the government’s proposal to expand the existing penalty scheme to any haulier found with an illegal migrant in their vehicle, regardless of their compliance with load security standards or accreditation schemes.

Yarsley added that the detection systems used in ports are not themselves fully effective and it is unrealistic to expect hauliers and drivers to plug any gaps left by government agencies. The proposals could also  deter businesses from bringing goods into the UK and reduce the attractiveness of HGV driving as a career option, at a time when the industry is suffering deeply from a worker shortage.