Damage to goods due to migrants entering the trailer

It is not that rare that our clients come to us with claims regarding the damage to goods due to migrants entering the trailer. The migrant crisis is something that most European countries struggle to cope with, and transport companies are especially affected by the entry of migrants into trailers.

This entry usually happens when drivers are making brakes or during the night while the drivers are sleeping. Also, border crossings where trucks wait for several hours to go through inspection and customs are suitable for migrants to take the opportunity to enter a trailer with goods.

There are many issues that can occur:

  1. if it is determined at customs control that there are migrants in the trailer, the driver and the company can be held responsible for a customs violation, where the penalty can be financial as well as the detention of the vehicle,
  2. the transported goods may be partially or completely destroyed, and the transport company bears responsibility for the damaged goods,
  3. the transport company must bear the costs of destroying the damaged goods if the goods can no longer be used or must be destroyed in accordance with special regulations.

The real question is: how can transportation companies protect themselves from these situations?

First, drivers must pay extra attention when they spend several hours in one place (due to breaks or waiting at border crossings). Migrants often cut the cables that hold the tarpaulins to the trailers, and later someone else reconnects them. They should also pay attention to whether the factory or customs seal has been cut.

Second, when contracting a CMR insurance policy, one should separately contract and pay an additional premium to cover liability for damages caused as a result of illegal actions by migrants who do not have a legally regulated status (illegal migrants).

Most of the insurance companies, therefore most of the policies, do not have this covered as part of their regular CMR insurance.

If transportation companies do not have this situation covered by an insurance policy, they will have to bear all the costs: for damaged goods, for the recycling of the damaged goods, and any other damage.

Thank you for your opinion.

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