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Appealing Migrant Penalties

Our lawyers have a high success rate in overturning clandestine entrant penalties issued to transport companies found carrying illegal migrants into the UK. Our clients include transport and logistics companies across Europe and beyond.

We understand the difficulties facing transport companies operating vehicles into the UK via Northern France, Calais and Coquelles. Every week there are hundreds of attempts by illegal migrants to gain unauthorised access to vehicles en route to the UK. Keeping your vehicle and trailer secure against stowaways can be a challenge.

If the UK Border Force or Customs discovers migrants in one of your vehicles, you may face a heavy fine. Our transport lawyers can help.

Civil Penalties: Legal Requirements

Under UK law, road transport operators and drivers are both responsible for securing their vehicles against migrants.

The UK Border Force can stop and inspect any vehicle entering the UK. They can fine businesses and drivers up to £2,000 for each migrant found.

Companies can avoid a Notice of Liability to Civil Penalty (IS11D), however to do this the operator will have to demonstrate 3 things:

  1. That it did not know or suspect that migrants were hiding in the vehicle or trailer,
  2. That the company operated an effective system to stop migrants being carried, and
  3. That the system was being properly operated by the driver at the time the vehicle was stopped

It is the responsibility of the company and the driver to show, with evidence that this defence applies.

Notices of Objection

If you have received a “civil penalty for the carriage of clandestine entrants”, you can write to the Border Force asking them to cancel or reduce the penalty. You will need to provide evidence that you had an “effective system in place” and that “the system was being properly operated”. A written representation of this kind is called a Notice of Objection.

At Rotheras we have many years of experience in preparing Notices of Objection on behalf of our UK and European transport clients. We can tell you what evidence you will need to provide and we can write to the Border Force on your behalf.

You only have 28 days to send a Notice of Objection and so if you have received a penalty notice please contact us straight away.

Notices of Objection prepared by our lawyers have an extremely high success rate in reducing or cancelling civil penalties. We can agree a fixed fee with you from the outset so that you have certainty of costs.

Appeals to the County Court 

If your Notice of Objection has been unsuccessful, you have the right to appeal against your civil penalty to the County Court in the UK. Hearings of this kind usually take place at Canterbury County Court.

Our lawyers can start court proceedings, prepare your grounds of appeal and help you to gather witness statements and your evidence. Our specialist advocates can represent you at your appeal hearing and present your case.

If necessary we can also seek to negotiate a favourable settlement agreement on your behalf without the need for a court hearing.

We take a pragmatic and open approach to Appeals of this kind. Before starting an appeal we will carefully consider the merits of your case and advise you on your prospects of success.

Advice and Support

For more information contact one of our specialist transport lawyers at , or you can also call us on 0115 910 6210

At Rotheras we can also help operators reclaim vehicles, trailers and loads detained by the UK Border Force.

Contact our Transport Team

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“Our experienced and specialist team represent clients nationally on a day-to-day basis”

Anton Balkitis
Head of Transport Law

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4.8 193 reviews

Posted 01/27/2020

This was my first experience using a solicitor, something I felt quite daunted about. Rotheras (Greg and Petra) put me at ease and were very helpful.

Mollie Fish

Posted 01/27/2020

Last year I experienced a car accident, as a front seat passenger. I put forward a personal injury claim with Rotheras. From start to finish, my claim has been dealt with efficiently and professionally, and I have always felt my best interests were considered. All communications were made via letter or email to inform me of all further updates. My claim has now come to an end and I am very happy with the overall outcome. I would recommend Rotheras for their service.

Samya Green

Posted 02/04/2020

We cannot recommend Chris Powell of Rotheras more highly. Mr Powell demonstrated the upmost professionalism with a high level of knowledge of the area for which he was representing us. Anyone needing representation/advice regarding the area of haulage will find that Chris Powell and Rotheras are the best choice.

Karen Walker

Posted 02/04/2020

Claim dealt with efficiently and to a satisfactory conclusion. Wayne Vickers visited me at home initially and explained everything thoroughly. Professional service throughout. Recommended

Clare Stevens

Contact our Transport Team
Transport Team
Anton Balkitis

Anton Balkitis

Anton Balkitis leads the Transport Law team and is a nationally recognised Transport and Motoring Law specialist at Nottingham-based law firm Rotheras Solicitors.

Olivia Maginn

Olivia Maginn

Olivia Maginn is a transport and motoring law specialist at Nottingham based law firm Rotheras Solicitors.

Transport Solicitor

Chris Powell

Chris Powell is an associate solicitor at Rotheras, specialising in road transport law and motorist defence. He advises and represents haulage and PSV operator licence holders and drivers on all road transport regulatory matters.

Hardeep Chumber

Hardeep Chumber

Hardeep Chumber is a paralegal in Rotheras Motoring and Transport department and is based at our Lace Market office.

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw is a paralegal in Rotheras Transport department and is based at our Lace Market office.

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