Migrants Breaking into Lorries: What is the risk to your product?

In recent years we have seen increasing numbers of migrants breaking into lorries, in a desperate attempt to change their lives and reach the UK. The hotspot of the problem is the port of Calais in France, which is the main exit point for transporting goods from Europe to the United Kingdom.

Despite the fact that the migrants are risking their lives by breaking into lorries, there are also other factors to consider. The drivers and the horrors they have to go through while dealing with the migrants is quite often forgotten. There are many reports of violence and threats towards the drivers, and quite frankly they are often ignored by the local authorities, leaving the drivers hopeless.

The UK border force is able to check around 10% for all inbound trucks coming from continental Europe. If they find stowaways at the back of the trailer, the IS11 form (Clandestine Entrants – Notice of Liability to a Penalty) is issued fining the haulier and the driver for each migrant on board, irrespectively of the fact if driver knew about migrants and reported himself or was just simply unaware of the problem. In this scenario the supply chain is broken and all Food Business Operators are in breach of regulation EC178/2002. You can find out how to avoid a penalty for clandestine entrants here. You can also check our guide what to do when migrants are trying to break into your trailer.

According to Food Standards Agency, you may take a reasonable checks to demonstrate that food is safe, despite clandestine detection. During recovery process due diligence must be demonstrated. Also as stated, it is unlikely that the court would consider it reasonable for the consignee to rely on checks carried out by the haulier if migrants were detected during border checks. Lore International as an independent contractor can inspect your load and determine whether is safe for the UK market.

Clandestine detections in food are treated as Food Incidents. If clandestine entrants are discovered but the food is proven safe due to checks and due diligence, no offence is committed. If any food is found to be unfit for human consumption or injurious to health, there will be one or more offences. Subsequently haulier, consignee or both are liable to prosecution. If the haulier importing the food is independent from the business receiving the consignment in the UK, then the haulier itself is a food business and potentially liable for the offence (because the transaction from haulier to consignee is a placing on the market for the purposes of EC Regulation No 178/2002). As the consignee, it would not be reasonable, in these circumstances, to rely on checks by the haulier before placing food on the market. 

Alex Schofield – Food Standards Agency

The reason for this is not only the damage to the product itself but contamination and the foreign objects left behind, if not detected this causes potential risk to the customer. Because of the amount of time the migrants have to spend at the back of the lorry in hiding, stowaways contaminate the load leaving behind: feces, urine, blood, saliva, semen, hair and more. The foreign objects left behind cause risk to the customer as they include: knifes, drugs, medicines, money, nuts etc.. 

Every responsible business owner should know the risk and should not try to distribute the damage or contaminated product to the consumer. Simply cleaning up the trailer and pallets from visible contamination is not enough as the bacteria, allergens and foreign objects could have already penetrated the product. 

LORE international specialises in recovering products damaged and contaminated by clandestine entrants during transport. Our proven recovery process is able to save most of your load without causing the risk to the consumer and maintaining your brand integrity. By using the latest technology and EHO approved process we are able to determine whether your product was affected by stowaways and is safe for the consumer. Contact us for more information or to book your load for inspection.

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