New Checklist for Coaches Released by Border Force

Border Force has revised its procedures and introduced a fresh checklist tailored to enhance the security of coaches against clandestine entry upon their return to the UK.

Collaborating closely with the UK Border Force, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has developed this new checklist specifically designed for coaches. This comprehensive form aims to assist drivers in documenting checks for any indications of migrant activity during their journeys back into the UK.

The checklist requires the following to be observed.

·Is the main body of the coach locked when unattended?

·Check that external storage compartments are locked when not in use/unattended.

·Check other external access points, locked when not in use/attended, e.g. engine bay.

·Count the number of seals securing storage compartments or other access points.

·Check that the alarms are activated when the vehicle isn’t in use.

·Check all locks and seals for any sign of tampering or damage, repair, or replacement.

·Check underneath all seating for signs of unauthorised access.

·Check overhead luggage shelves for unauthorised access.

·Check luggage hold for unauthorised access.

·Check the toilet area for unauthorised access.

·Check the engine compartment and all components for unauthorised access.

·Check that no one has gained unauthorised access.

·Note any sign that a person has attempted to gain unauthorised access.

·Check no person has gained unauthorised access to the engine compartment.

·Check all necessary documentation is correct.

·Check passenger names against the manifest.

·Check that the toilet door is locked.

·Check any other spaces accessible from outside of the vehicle are locked.

·Check all external storage compartments are locked.

There is also a shorter checklist that applies to any trailers that may be attached to the coach.

Additionally, the RHA provides guidance for operators and drivers, accessible to its members through the Coach Operations Manual.

To deter stowaways and ensure compliance, commercial vehicle operators may face fines of up to £10,000 per stowaway discovered by Border Force.

Businesses seeking to avoid such fines can enrol in the Civil Entrant Civil Penalty Scheme. The Gov.UK site says, “ Our civil penalty accreditation scheme works with companies to promote best practice in preventing clandestine entrants from gaining unauthorised access to vehicles. To qualify for membership, your company must have an effective security system for your vehicles. You must also make sure the system is used properly. This includes training and checking drivers.”