How do you simplify the code of practice?

How do you simplify the code of practice?
To prevent stowaways, the UK Border Force has drafted a Code of Practice. Now that Britain has tightened its regulations on stowaways, it is altogether advisable to sign up for this Code of Practice, as it will give you a 50% discount on the fine amount imposed if you are fined. The code of practice also includes 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. Because only then will you qualify for the discount. Unfortunately, this does not happen enough in practice.

Code of practice

The Code of Practice sets out all the requirements carriers must meet:

  • Drivers must properly secure their vehicle when it is loaded.
  • Vehicles must be secured with a tilt cord and a numbered seal and/or lock.
  • After each stop, drivers must recheck the vehicle and apply new seals and/or locks.
  • Checks and changes must be kept on a vehicle checklist.
  • There is also a requirement to have spare seals present.

Application for accreditation

The UK Border Agency has set up an accreditation system for vehicle security. Transport operators who have fully implemented the Code of Practice can apply to the UK Border Agency for accreditation. It is therefore crucial to implement the Code of Practice regulations and security measures into company procedures. All procedures must be documented and it must also be possible to demonstrate this. You can do this, for example, by including the Code of Practice in the drivers' handbook and/or by discussing them at work meetings and recording this with minutes.

However, accreditation does not mean that fines will no longer be imposed. You just get an immediate 50% discount on the imposed fine amount. TLN, the Dutch branch association, stresses that accreditation should always take place in combination with compliance with the Code of Practice. It is therefore not a replacement for the Code of Practice. If you meet the conditions, you can submit the application for accreditation 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.

Electronic lock
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 telematic 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.

Welk 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.

More information about how to prevent stowaways?

This article is part of the stowaways whitepaper, which we have written together with the Dutch branch association 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' white paper