Carriers' liability
Produced in partnership with Daniel Bunting of 2 Dr. Johnson's Buildings
Carriers' liability

The following Immigration practice note Produced in partnership with Daniel Bunting of 2 Dr. Johnson's Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Carriers' liability
  • Charges in relation to passengers without proper documents
  • Carriers' liability for passengers without proper documents
  • The definition of a passenger without proper documents
  • When will a carrier be liable?
  • Family members of EEA nationals
  • Defences
  • Advice before carrying
  • Procedure at the Port
  • Objections and appeals
  • More...

The transport industry has various legal obligations regarding carrying passengers into the UK. These are:

  1. to adequately check the travel documents of passengers

  2. to prevent clandestine entrants to the UK

  3. to provide specified advance electronic information to the UK Border Force regarding passengers or crews of ships or aircraft, and

  4. to seek and obtain authority to carry a passenger to the UK in accordance with the Authority to Carry Scheme 2015

In addition, there are a range of miscellaneous offences that relate to the activities of carriers.

Charges in relation to passengers without proper documents

Carriers' liability for passengers without proper documents

The UK Border Force, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) may charge the owner of a ship or aircraft a fixed penalty of £2,000 where a passenger arrives in the UK without proper documents.

The definition of a passenger without proper documents

Section 40(1) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (IAA 1999) states that a passenger without proper documents is a passenger who:

  1. requires leave to enter, and

  2. arrives in the UK by ship or aircraft, and

  3. who fails to produce, when required by an immigration officer (IO), the following:

    1. an immigration document which is in force and which establishes the passenger's identity and nationality or citizenship, and

    2. a visa of the required kind (if the passenger requires a

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