Government Consultation to Review Migrant Penalties

Published: 01 April 2016

Government Consultation to Review Migrant Penalties
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A government consultation to review the penalties imposed on drivers and haulage operators that are found to have illegal migrants aboard their vehicles is currently open.

The consultation is open until the 18th April and focuses on the steps hauliers should take to secure their vehicles. Owner drivers, haulage operators and freight forwarders are urged to put their opinions across to the government before the end of the consultation.

With the possibility that this consultation could result in more penalties for hauliers it is in the best interest of the industry to for as many drivers and operators as possible get their views across and answer the governments questions.

If you would like to respond on these questions you will need to get your response in before 18th April 2016, you will find the response for here on page 15 and you can email or send via post:

Email them at: [email protected]
Post: Home Office Clandestine Civil Penalty Consultation Border & Visa Policy 3rd Floor Seacole Home Office 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF

Questions range from incentives and insurance to penalties and security measures, here is a rundown of the questions that the consultation is looking at:

1.       We want to work with industry to refresh the codes of practice to ensure they take account of recent developments in the transportation sector. But we also need to ensure that the revised codes are fair and transparent, and provide a clear incentive for hauliers to properly secure their vehicles.
Do you have any comments on the refresh of the codes of practice or the policy objective overall?
 
2.       During the Ministerial roundtable discussions and the International Lorry Security Conference the role of the insurance industry was repeatedly raised. There seem to be two main concerns: firstly that the insurance sector is not providing sufficient incentive for companies to invest in effective vehicle security; and secondly, that some operators believe the insurance sector is not paying out in all the circumstances they would expect.
How should the insurance sector best approach this issue in order to incentivise effective lorry security, and provide effective support for industry?
 
3.       The transportation of goods to the UK can be a complex process, often involving lengthy supply chains and contracted relationships. It appears as though the clandestine pressure on the border has exposed weaknesses in these arrangements. By ensuring resilience in the operating processes, industry will be better able to ensure there is good vehicle security in place.
How should industry best manage its supply chains and structure its contracts in order to ensure clear responsibility and effective security at each stage of the journey to the UK?
 
4.       The sophistication of migrant attacks on goods vehicles has increased whilst the technology available to secure these vehicles has moved on a pace. There is a variety of security measures on the market, some of which are relatively inexpensive. But despite the growing awareness of what is available there are still high numbers of vehicles coming to the UK with poor security in place.
What do you see as being the obstacles to operators achieving these security standards, and how can these be overcome?

5.       The vehicle prevention code is over ten years old. Since publication there have been developments in industry and we would like to take views as to how these may impact on the code. As we saw at the International Lorry Security Conference there are effective and affordable security products on the market, and we want to encourage an overall improvement in the security levels in the haulage industry.
How should the prevention code be refreshed? In particular, how should a revised code take account of recent developments in security technology and other developments eg secure 12 parking? How can we reward operators for their investment in higher quality security measures?
 
6.       Again, the vehicle level of penalty code is over ten years old. We would like the code to provide a fair and transparent charging framework. But we also want the framework to effectively address the full range of behaviours, so it should be harsh on the reckless, encourage the careless to improve, and reward those who have invested in security.
How should the level of penalty be refreshed? In particular:
• Should we retain the approach of a single minimum standard?
• Or should we move to a more graded charging regime that provides discounts based on the level of security investment (above a base minimum)?
• How can operators best evidence their compliance with the prevention code, and how should this link into the level of penalty code?

 
7.       Incentivising better lorry security is a priority, but we also recognise that any requirements placed on the industry must be proportionate. We will seek to minimise burdens and improve clarity for the industry wherever possible.
How could the revised codes of practice keep burdens on the transportation sector to a minimum, without compromising the objective of incentivising the security of vehicles? Do you have any specific proposals that would minimise burdens on small (<50 employees) and micro (<10 employess) businesses in particular.
 
8.       The vast majority of hauliers are law abiding. However, there is a small minority that deliberately flout the rules around illegal migration, and neither Government nor industry should tolerate this. The regulators for the sector – in the UK and elsewhere in Europe - are primarily responsible for managing this behaviour.
How can haulage regulators best manage errant hauliers? How can regulators best operate across national boundaries?

9.      The problems in Northern France this year have highlighted the importance of vehicle security to the UK Government. However, this is a European issue as most of the hauliers coming to the UK are not registered in this country; but also, we are seeing repercussions of poor lorry security elsewhere in Europe.
How can we address the problem of poor vehicle security at European level? What should be the role of other European Governments in encouraging better lorry security?

10.    Illegal migration is a complex challenge. Governments need to work in partnership with all parts of the transport industry.
10a. What would be the difficulties if we were to extend the civil penalty regime to rail freight wagons and rail shuttle wagons?
10b. Are there alternative methods of reducing the risk of clandestines using rail transport (rail shuttle wagons and rail freight wagons), particularly rail freight wagons which like road hauliers operate services on extended routes across the whole of Europe.
10c. Is there more that other partners could be doing e.g. ferry companies and port operators?


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