Clandestine Entrants

If your business operates commercial vehicles that enter the UK, the expert solicitors at JMW are here to advise you of your responsibilities regarding clandestine entrants. We can provide the guidance you need and give you the peace of mind that you are doing everything correctly and meeting all legal requirements.

Find out more about how the expert team at JMW can help you today by calling 0800 054 2062 or by completing our online enquiry form, which will enable us to give you a call back at a convenient time.

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Clandestine Entrants Explained

A clandestine entrant is a person who hides in or on a vehicle as it enters the UK, with the aim of avoiding immigration controls and entering the UK illegally.  All operators of commercial vehicles entering the UK must:

  • have an 'effective system' in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants in or on their vehicles to the UK; and
  • ensure the proper operation of that system.

The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (the Act) provides that if operators do not have an 'effective system' in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants, or fail to operate that system properly, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) may impose a civil penalty of up to £2,000 for each clandestine entrant found upon:

  • the driver;
  • the driver's employer; and
  • the owner/hirer of the vehicle.

Section 32(4) of the Act says that where a penalty is imposed upon the driver of a vehicle who is an employee of the vehicle's owner or hirer, the driver and the driver's employer shall be jointly and severally liable for the penalty imposed upon the driver (irrespective of whether a separate penalty is also imposed on the driver's employer). This means that both the driver and the driver's employer are responsible for the payment of any penalty imposed upon the driver.

It is therefore crucial that operators have an 'effective system' in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants and that this system is properly documented so that should clandestine entrants be found concealed inside an operator's vehicles, the operator would be able to demonstrate to the UKBA that it:

  • Had an 'effective system' in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants
  • Had taken all reasonable measures to ensure the proper operation of that system and should not therefore be liable to a civil penalty

Our Services

Our road transport solicitors can provide you and your business with assistance and advice in relation to the:

  • Implementation of an 'effective system' for the prevention of the carriage of clandestine entrants
  • Implementation of a comprehensive written policy in relation to the prevention of the carriage of clandestine entrants
  • Preparation of responses to pre-decision letters from the UKBA
  • Preparation of objections to the level of any civil penalties imposed and the driver's, driver's employers and owner/hirer of the vehicle's liability to any civil penalties imposed
  • Preparation of appeals to the County Court against the level of any civil penalties imposed and the driver's, driver's employers and owner/hirer of the vehicle's liability to any civil penalties imposed
  • Preparation of appeals to the County Court against the UKBA's decision following an unsatisfactory outcome to an objection to the level of any civil penalties imposed and the driver's, driver's employers and owner/hirer of the vehicle's liability to any civil penalties imposed
  • Preparation of applications for the UKBA's accreditation scheme

Why Choose JMW?

The road transport solicitors at JMW can provide assistance and advice with any matters relating to clandestine events. We will make sure that what may seem a complex issue is made as straightforward as possible, giving you the peace of mind that you are doing everything correctly and as efficiently as possible.

If you face action by the UK Border Force, we are here to help. We will work closely to make sure you fully understand your rights and requirements and will provide you with expert guidance throughout. 

Talk to Us

Contact us today for expert advice for you and your business regarding clandestine entrants. Simply call us on 0800 054 2062 or complete our online enquiry form and we will call you back at a convenient time.

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