Operating a system that meets the requirements of TIR or other regulations (for example CEFIC ISO 9001) is not sufficient to avoid penalties if 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 taken.

Further advice can be obtained from:-

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 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 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 consequently vital. The above examples are not exhaustive. Intending clandestine entrants will look for any possible method to enter a vehicle, which can often be achieved in no more than a few minutes.

UK Immigration Service CPCAU, Status Four, 3 Nobel Drive Harlington, Middlesex UNITED KINGDOM UB3 5EY (Tel. 0044 (0)20 8745 6006) (Fax. 0044 (0)20 8745 5922)
e-mail: civilpenaltyunit@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or by visiting the Home Office web-site at: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk


Remember: It is only by properly operating an effective 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 liable for penalties if they carry clandestine entrants to the United Kingdom in their vehicles. Each individual ‘responsible person’ (e.g. the vehicle owner, hirer, and driver) may receive a penalty of up to £2000 for each clandestine entrant carried. The legislation requires road hauliers to operate an ‘effective system’ to protect their vehicles against the carriage of clandestine entrants. The measures to be taken, and the procedures to be followed by those operating an ‘effective system’ are described in the ‘Prevention of Clandestine Entrants: Code of Practice’, which may be obtained by contacting the address at the end of this leaflet. The following advice is not a substitute for the Code of Practice, but is intended to assist hauliers in introducing effective systems and in helping them ensure their proper operation once implemented.

Soft-sided vehicles (e.g.‘tilt’ and ‘curtain-sided’ trailers). A security (‘TIR’) cord in good condition should be provided. In addition a padlock or seal should be provided to join the cord after fitting. If the vehicle has external storage compartments (e.g. panniers) beneath its body, these should be capable of being secured by locks or seals, which should be provided for this purpose. Padlocks should be robust and should be maintained in working order. Seals should be numbered.

Checks provided by port operators
All hauliers are advised to make use of vehicle checks provided by port operators. These checks are not foolproof however, and may not always detect the presence of clandestine entrants. Hauliers are themselves responsible for carrying out the final vehicle check as described in the previous paragraph. Reliance upon a port operator check alone will not provide a defence against a penalty if clandestine entrants are subsequently found.

An effective system must provide for checking of the vehicle at appropriate times during its journey to the UK. Without checking, breaches in the vehicle’s security may not be identified. Checking and securing at final loading The interior of the vehicle should be checked when the vehicle is loaded before departure for the UK. This includes checking of any external storage compartments if they are fitted. In the case of a vehicle collecting cargo from different places, this check should be at its final loading point. The check should normally be carried out by the driver. If this is not possible, the person responsible for the final loading should confirm in writing that no unauthorised persons are within the vehicle. Immediately after this check the vehicle should be secured with appropriate devices. If the vehicle has panniers these should also be secured. Checking during the journey Checks to ensure that the vehicle’s security has not been breached should be carried out after stops made whilst travelling to the port of embarkation. This is particularly important when the vehicle has been left unattended. If a security cord has been used this should be physically examined for any signs of tampering. Seals and locks should be similarly checked. The underside of the vehicle should also be checked as would-be clandestine entrants sometimes hide on vehicle axles or in storage areas beneath vehicles. Final check Where the immigration control for traffic travelling to the UK operates in a control zone outside the UK, penalties can be imposed if clandestine entrants are found in vehicles at any time after they enter the control zone. For vehicles using these routes a final check must therefore be carried out before entering a control zone. Control zones currently operate at Calais, Coquelles, and Dunkerque. For vehicles travelling through other ports the final check should be made immediately before boarding the ferry for the UK. The final check should include the security cord (if fitted) and any locks or seals. The underside of the vehicle should be checked as should its roof and wind deflector (if fitted). If the vehicle has not been properly secured, the final check should include a thorough manual check of the vehicle’s interior.

Any system in place for preventing the carriage of clandestine entrants should be described in a written document. This should be provided to those responsible for operating the system – normally the vehicle driver – and should be carried with the vehicle. The document should contain instructions for the person responsible for operating the system. This may include, for example, instructions on how to secure the vehicle and when and how to check it, as well as advice on what to do if clandestine entrants are suspected of being in the vehicle, or if the vehicle’s security is breached or compromised.

An effective system will not guarantee that no clandestine entrants can enter the United Kingdom in a vehicle but will, if properly operated, more likely than not prevent their carriage. It is only by operating an effective system that penalties can be avoided in the event that clandestine entrants are carried. An effective system as described in the Prevention of Clandestine Entrants Code of Practice, can be summarised as falling into 3 separate areas, these being vehicle security, vehicle checking, and documentation. In drawing up a system a company should consider how the requirements of each area can best be met, taking into account the type of vehicles used and the nature of its operations. Consideration should also be given to how drivers and others are trained and instructed on operating the system, and how its operation and performance can be monitored.

A checklist acts as a reminder for the vehicle’s driver to carry out the checks required, and enables a record to be made of the checks carried out. Such a record will assist in showing that an effective system was operated in the event that clandestine entrants are carried. An example of a checklist can be obtained by contacting the address at the end of this leaflet. It is recommended that all drivers travelling to the UK are provided with this document or with something similar.

Training should be provided for any person who has to operate the system to ensure they are familiar with the instructions given. Training should undertaken at regular intervals and a record kept of when training was given and who received it.

Companies should ensure that the outer fabric of vehicles they use for travel to the UK does not permit unauthorised access (for example through cuts or tears), and that they can be properly secured. Security devices should be provided for this purpose. The type of security devices used should be appropriate to the vehicle for which they are provided. Spare security devices, such as seals, should be provided in case re-securing the vehicle this becomes necessary during its journey. Hard-sided vehicles (e.g. box trailers). If a working integral lock is not fitted, a padlock or seal should be provided to secure the rear doors. If the vehicle has external storage compartments (e.g. panniers) beneath its body, these should be capable of being secured by locks or seals, which should be provided for this purpose. All locks and padlocks should be robust and should be maintained in working order. Seals should be numbered.

Monitoring the operation and performance of an effective system can greatly reduce the risk of it failing. A simple method of monitoring is to require drivers to submit completed checklists upon completion of their journey. Regular discussion with drivers is also useful, and helps to identify any problems there may be in the system and to find ways to address those problems. The UK Immigration Service can assist companies in monitoring their systems. Further details can be obtained by writing to the address at the end of this leaflet.