How do you simplify the Code of Practice?
To prevent stowaways, the UK Border Force has drafted a Code of Practice – among which a vehicle checklist containing requirements for drivers traveling to the UK. As a shipping agent, it is crucial to inform your drivers about the importance of applying the Code of Practice correctly. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen sufficiently in practice. It has major consequences when you don’t observe the Code of Practice. The “vehicle checklist” must be completed by the driver after every stop. Filling it in afterwards is not accepted by the UK Border Force. When the UK Border Force comes across a stowaway in the lorry, both the driver and the employer receive a maximum fine of GBP 2000 per stowaway found.
Code of practice and Accreditation system
It is crucial to implement the Code of Practice requirements and security measures in the company procedures. Shipping agents that have implemented the Code of Practice in full may submit an accreditation request to the UK Border Agency. All procedures must have been documented and it must be possible to prove this, such as by including the Code of Practice in the driver’s handbook and/or by discussing it during the work consultation and recording it with minutes.
However, accreditation doesn’t mean that no more fines will be imposed. As a shipping agent, you won’t receive a fine, but the driver isn’t covered by the accreditation system. This means that fines can be imposed on the driver. TLN stresses that accreditation must always go hand in hand with compliance with the Code of Practice. Accreditation therefore doesn’t serve as a replacement to the Code of Practice. If you meet the conditions, you may submit the accreditation request to the UK Border Agency.
Automatic registration of the vehicle checklist
Completing and keeping up to date this vehicle checklist by hand requires rather a lot of time and discipline on the part of the driver, if it is to happen at all. Things therefore often go wrong in practice, with all the consequences that this entails. The driver is regarded as a suspect and the driver and the shipping agent receive a fine. Current technological developments are making it easier and safer to check the vehicle and the security measures.
When you, the shipping agent, require additional assurance or want to make things easy for the driver, it is useful to choose an electronic lock. The logistical planning service can then decide for itself who may open which lock and when. Such a lock records when and by whom it is opened and what the tilt cord is attached to. You can then read afterwards on the lock when the lock has been opened. An example of such a lock is the SBS BDI.
Advanced telematics lock
For shipping companies transporting high-value or fragile cargo and therefore wanting to be kept up to date in real time with the status of the cargo, there are telematics lock solutions available. For a trailer, this could be a lock with extra (infrared) sensors and alarms on the inside, such as the SBS INLOCK. For a container, this could be an SBS e-containerguard with trackers on the cargo. This allows you to prove afterwards that no one has interfered with the cargo, thereby preventing the damage incurred on account of a cargo being refused.
Which trailer or container lock do I need?
The diagram below shows what the different lock solutions can do when it comes to following the Code of Practice.
This article is part of the stowaways whitepaper, which we have written together with TLN. Would you like more information about the stowaway problems and how you can prevent stowaways in your truck or trailer? Then download the complete “Stowaway” whitepaper. Of course you can also contact our specialists. They are happy to help you.