Select Committee on Home Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 37


The Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987 (ICLA) provides for a charge (currently £2,000) to be levied on the owners or agents of a ship or aircraft or relevant operator of an international through train (but not including Le Shuttle service) where a person requiring leave to enter (ie not a British Citizen or other national of the European Economic Area) arrives in the UK without a valid passport or other acceptable travel document, or without a valid visa where one is required.

  Details of the cumulative totals of charges incurred and outstanding by year since the inception of the ICLA are attached at Annex A[8]. A breakdown of charges incurred, waived paid and outstanding over the last five years is attached at Annex B*.

  In 1995, in their report (HC 204 Session 1994-95) entitled "Entry into the United Kingdom" the National Audit Office, amongst other things, examined the progress on debt recovery under the ICLA and recommended that "the Service should continue to pursue a pro-active debt recovery strategy, with a view to reducing the amounts outstanding more rapidly". Annexes A and B show a progressive fall, year on year, in the amount of monies outstanding. In 1995 21 per cent of the cumulative debt was still outstanding. This has fallen to less than 6 per cent by 31 December 1999.

  Upon commencement of Section 40 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 the ICLA will be repeated. Commencement is likely to June 2000.

  Amongst other things, Section 40 will extend carrier liability provisions in respect of inadequately documented passengers (IDAs) to the owners or operators of road passenger vehicles. These provisions are aimed at countering the rising number of IDAs arriving by bus/coach (2,500 at Dover alone in 1999) by making their owners or operators liable to a charge (£2,000) in respect of each IDA brought here.

  Section 42 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 introduces a (new) power to detain transporters in connection with the recovery of charges resulting from the carriage of IDAs to the UK. Carriers/operators will continue to have two separate opportunities to make representations against disputed charges but if they are unsuccessful payment is expected without further delay.

  The majority of carriers meet their obligations under these carrier liability provisions, and detention powers will only normally be used after all reasonable efforts to persuade them to settle their debt have failed.

  No transporter detained under Section 42 for non-payment of such charges can be sold without the leave of the Court, or where payment is made within 84 days of the transporter being detained.

8   Not printed. Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 31 January 2001