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Bolle Transport bv. v The Home Secretary, Court of Appeal

In October 2013 Bolle Transport BV, a Dutch haulier operating into the UK,  collected a sealed load from Frankfurt Airport for delivery to a Royal Mail depot at Langley in Berkshire, UK. When the load arrived at Langley six illegals were found inside. The Home Secretary imposed a Civil Penalty of £7,200. On appeal to the County Court it was found that the illegal entrants had entered trailer from the supposedly secure ‘airside’ part of Frankfurt Airport an area to which drivers have no access. Bolle Transport also had a technology-based system of illegals prevention – door sensors, GPS real-time tracking and messaging systems – which was far better than the Home Office-recommended paper-based checks and recording system. The judge found that Bolle neither knew nor suspected that illegals were in the vehicle and agreed that their prevention system was better than the Home Office recommended system but refused the appeal, saying that the penalty system was mandatory – if illegals are found then, whether you knew it or not, you pay the penalty. The Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the case, saying that the appeal “….raised important questions of principle about the operation of the system of penalties imposed upon carriers……” It is thought likely that the Court of Appeal will issue guidelines on how the imposition of penalties should be managed in the future. The Secretary of State is resisting the appeal.  The appeal is being conducted by Simon Clarke, a barrister and Head of Road Transport Law at Cartwright King Solicitors, together with Richard Tinkler. Both are recognised as experts in national and International Road Transport Law and both represent UK and other European operators and their drivers.

Case Details

Case Name: Bolle Transport bv. v The Home Secretary, Court of Appeal
Case Date: May 2015
Case Type (info): Illegal Entrants

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