Over the Summer the media was full of stories around illegal migrants trying to get into the UK by whatever means possible, often in the back of vehicles.
If you carry goods to and from the continent under the CMR regulations there is little to no defence available to carriers if illegal migrants get into the vehicle and damage or destroy the goods within the trailer.
The good old defence that the haulier is relieved of liability if the loss, damage or delay caused by circumstance that the carrier could not avoid and the consequences of which they were unable to prevent hasn’t yet been tested in a UK court. This is because the burden of proof is on the carrier and the costs involved haven’t been enough to make it to the courts in the first place.
The key advice we give is to be vigilant and to protect your vehicle and yourselves as much as you can to hopefully avoid a breach into the trailer and damage to the goods. You could:
- make a physical record each time the driver checks the vehicle
- park the cab facing away from the port – thus giving the impression to the illegals that you’re heading into the country rather than out of it.
If you would like advice on haulage liability please contact us on 01302 341 344.