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Call for Evidence: An inspection of Border Force Freight Operations

The Chief Inspector invites anyone with knowledge and experience of the Home Office’s freight operations to submit evidence for his next inspection.

Launching the ‘call for evidence’, the Independent Chief Inspector, David Bolt said:

“I am about to begin an inspection of the management by Border Force of freight arriving at UK ports of entry (seaports, airports and rail terminals) and would like to hear from anyone with knowledge and practical experience of how this is working.

“I am particularly interested in hearing from independent traders, trade associations, and businesses reliant on the efficient and effective processing of freight about what appears to be working well, and why, and what is not working or could be improved, both pre-arrival and at ports, including the clarity of any guidance, information or assistance provided by Border Force.

“While this is not intended to be an inspection of Brexit preparedness, I am also interested to understand to what extent stakeholders feel that Border Force has engaged with their issues and concerns about how its management of freight arrivals will be affected.

“Please note that my statutory remit does not extend to investigating or making decisions about individual cases. This remains a Home Office responsibility. However, I do take an interest in individual cases where they illustrate or point to systemic problems.”


ICIBI’s 2013 inspection report looking at Border Force freight operations examined how well Border Force identified risks to border security, the effectiveness of physical controls, and how interventions by Border Force deterred criminal activity. It also examined the relationship between Border Force and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Since 2013, a number of ICIBI inspections have included freight operations as part of a wider look at Border Force functions, such as the inspection of intelligence functions in 2015, and the inspections of east coast seaports and of south coast seaports in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

How to respond

Please click here to email your submission to the Chief Inspector by 22 August 2020.

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) we need your permission to process and retain the information you submit in your submission, by clicking here a consent statement will automatically be added to your email.

However if you are using a non-compatible email client then please send your submission to CfEFreight@icibi.gov.uk with ‘ICIBI Freight Inspection 2020’ in the subject line and include the following consent statement in the body of your email, ‘I consent to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration retaining and processing the information and data in this email.’

Please do not include this statement if you do not wish to give your consent. The information you submit may be quoted in the final inspection report, but it is the ICIBI’s practice not to name sources and to anonymise as much as possible any examples or case studies.

The information you submit may be quoted in the final inspection report, but it is the ICIBI’s practice not to name sources and to anonymise, as much as possible, any examples or case studies.

Source: GOV.UK

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