HC Deb 28 October 1999 vol 336 cc967-8W
Dr. Palmer

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what decision he has made on changes in the administration of the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987 in order to offer further incentives to carriers. [96829]

Mrs. Roche

I have agreed a proposed extension to the concessions contained in the Approved Gate Check (AGC) scheme. AGC status is an administrative concession which benefits carriers who are responsible towards their obligations under the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987 and who operate a sufficiently high standard of checking procedures abroad for their services to the United Kingdom. Where a passenger arrives in the United Kingdom without documents from a station that has been granted AGC status, the carrier will normally be given the benefit of the doubt. In such a case, because of the high standard of checking, it is assumed that apparently genuine documents must have been produced at the time of embarkation and must have been subsequently disposed of. Charges are normally waived accordingly. I have agreed that the concession will now be extended to include certain circumstances where passengers arrive with mutilated documents. Provided that the inadequately documented passenger/arrival with a mutilated documentarrives from an AGC station; and there is no evidence of:

  • a reasonably apparent and material falsity;
  • a reasonably apparent impersonation; and/or
  • use of a fantasy or other unacceptable travel document;
then the charge will normally be waived unless, in the case of a visa national, it is clear from the mutilated document that (because, for example, every visa page is intact) the passenger, at the point of check-in, did not hold a requisite United Kingdom visa, or exemption from the visa requirement. Mutilated documents include documents which have been partly destroyed usually by the removal of pages and/or photographs.

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