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Operating a system that meets the requirements of TIR or other regulations

(for example CEFIC ISO 9001) is not sufficient to avoid penalties if Further advice can be obtained from:-
clandestine entrants are carried. Although vehicles operated under TIR
and some other regulations may partly meet the requirements of the
‘Prevention of Clandestine Entrants Code of Practice’, companies should
ensure that all of the measures necessary to have an effective system are


There are some common ways in which access is gained to vehicles.

Unauthorised entry is often gained to soft-sided (including curtain-sided)
vehicles because a security cord, properly joined with a seal or padlock, is
absent, and to hard-sided vehicles because its doors are not locked or 3 Nobel Drive
sealed. Security cords can be cut and rejoined. Physically checking the
cord by pulling on it will usually bring this to notice. Seals and padlocks Harlington, Middlesex
can be broken and rejoined. This can often be revealed by physically
checking the seal or padlock. Entry gained by cutting the canvas side or
roof of the vehicle can be identified through proper checking (particularly
at the final check). Some clandestine entrants hide beneath vehicles, for
example on an axle or in panniers, and checking these areas is (Tel. 0044 (0)20 8745 6006)
consequently vital.
(Fax. 0044 (0)20 8745 5922)
The above examples are not exhaustive. Intending clandestine entrants will
look for any possible method to enter a vehicle, which can often be e-mail:
achieved in no more than a few minutes.
or by visiting the Home Office web-site at:

Remember: It is only by properly operating an effective AVOIDING PENALTIES FOR THE CARRIAGE
system that penalties can be avoided if clandestine
entrants are carried.



Produced by UKIS External Communications. Feb 2004

Under legislation introduced in April 2000 road hauliers and others may be Soft-sided vehicles (e.g.‘tilt’ and ‘curtain-sided’ trailers). A security (‘TIR’) Checks provided by port operators
liable for penalties if they carry clandestine entrants to the United Kingdom cord in good condition should be provided. In addition a padlock or seal
in their vehicles. Each individual ‘responsible person’ (e.g. the vehicle should be provided to join the cord after fitting. If the vehicle has external All hauliers are advised to make use of vehicle checks provided by port
owner, hirer, and driver) may receive a penalty of up to £2000 for each storage compartments (e.g. panniers) beneath its body, these should be operators. These checks are not foolproof however, and may not always
clandestine entrant carried. capable of being secured by locks or seals, which should be provided for detect the presence of clandestine entrants. Hauliers are themselves
this purpose. Padlocks should be robust and should be maintained in responsible for carrying out the final vehicle check as described in the
The legislation requires road hauliers to operate an ‘effective system’ to working order. Seals should be numbered. previous paragraph. Reliance upon a port operator check alone will not
protect their vehicles against the carriage of clandestine entrants. The provide a defence against a penalty if clandestine entrants are
measures to be taken, and the procedures to be followed by those 2. VEHICLE CHECKING subsequently found.
operating an ‘effective system’ are described in the ‘Prevention of
Clandestine Entrants: Code of Practice’, which may be obtained by An effective system must provide for checking of the vehicle at appropriate 3. DOCUMENTATION
contacting the address at the end of this leaflet. times during its journey to the UK. Without checking, breaches in the
vehicle’s security may not be identified. Any system in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants
The following advice is not a substitute for the Code of Practice, but is should be described in a written document. This should be provided to
intended to assist hauliers in introducing effective systems and in helping Checking and securing at final loading those responsible for operating the system – normally the vehicle driver –
them ensure their proper operation once implemented. and should be carried with the vehicle. The document should contain
The interior of the vehicle should be checked when the vehicle is loaded instructions for the person responsible for operating the system. This may
EFFECTIVE SYSTEMS before departure for the UK. This includes checking of any external storage include, for example, instructions on how to secure the vehicle and when
compartments if they are fitted. In the case of a vehicle collecting cargo and how to check it, as well as advice on what to do if clandestine entrants
An effective system will not guarantee that no clandestine entrants can from different places, this check should be at its final loading point. The are suspected of being in the vehicle, or if the vehicle’s security is
enter the United Kingdom in a vehicle but will, if properly operated, more check should normally be carried out by the driver. If this is not possible, breached or compromised.
likely than not prevent their carriage. It is only by operating an effective the person responsible for the final loading should confirm in writing that
system that penalties can be avoided in the event that clandestine no unauthorised persons are within the vehicle. Immediately after this Checklist
entrants are carried. check the vehicle should be secured with appropriate devices. If the
vehicle has panniers these should also be secured. A checklist acts as a reminder for the vehicle’s driver to carry out the
An effective system as described in the Prevention of Clandestine Entrants checks required, and enables a record to be made of the checks carried
Code of Practice, can be summarised as falling into 3 separate areas, Checking during the journey out. Such a record will assist in showing that an effective system was
these being vehicle security, vehicle checking, and documentation. In operated in the event that clandestine entrants are carried. An example of
drawing up a system a company should consider how the requirements of Checks to ensure that the vehicle’s security has not been breached should a checklist can be obtained by contacting the address at the end of this
each area can best be met, taking into account the type of vehicles used be carried out after stops made whilst travelling to the port of embarkation. leaflet. It is recommended that all drivers travelling to the UK are provided
and the nature of its operations. Consideration should also be given to how This is particularly important when the vehicle has been left unattended. If with this document or with something similar.
drivers and others are trained and instructed on operating the system, and a security cord has been used this should be physically examined for any
how its operation and performance can be monitored. signs of tampering. Seals and locks should be similarly checked. The 4. TRAINING
underside of the vehicle should also be checked as would-be clandestine
1. VEHICLE SECURITY entrants sometimes hide on vehicle axles or in storage areas beneath Training should be provided for any person who has to operate the system
vehicles. to ensure they are familiar with the instructions given. Training should
Companies should ensure that the outer fabric of vehicles they use for undertaken at regular intervals and a record kept of when training was
travel to the UK does not permit unauthorised access (for example through Final check given and who received it.
cuts or tears), and that they can be properly secured. Security devices
should be provided for this purpose. The type of security devices used Where the immigration control for traffic travelling to the UK operates in a 5. MONITORING
should be appropriate to the vehicle for which they are provided. Spare control zone outside the UK, penalties can be imposed if clandestine
security devices, such as seals, should be provided in case re-securing the entrants are found in vehicles at any time after they enter the control zone. Monitoring the operation and performance of an effective system can
vehicle this becomes necessary during its journey. For vehicles using these routes a final check must therefore be carried out greatly reduce the risk of it failing. A simple method of monitoring is to
before entering a control zone. Control zones currently operate at Calais, require drivers to submit completed checklists upon completion of their
Hard-sided vehicles (e.g. box trailers). If a working integral lock is not Coquelles, and Dunkerque. For vehicles travelling through other ports the journey. Regular discussion with drivers is also useful, and helps to identify
fitted, a padlock or seal should be provided to secure the rear doors. If the final check should be made immediately before boarding the ferry for the any problems there may be in the system and to find ways to address those
vehicle has external storage compartments (e.g. panniers) beneath its UK. The final check should include the security cord (if fitted) and any locks problems. The UK Immigration Service can assist companies in monitoring
body, these should be capable of being secured by locks or seals, which or seals. The underside of the vehicle should be checked as should its roof their systems. Further details can be obtained by writing to the address at
should be provided for this purpose. All locks and padlocks should be and wind deflector (if fitted). the end of this leaflet.
robust and should be maintained in working order. Seals should be
numbered. If the vehicle has not been properly secured, the final check should
include a thorough manual check of the vehicle’s interior.

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