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Lorry driver failed to declare dangerous goods

A Romanian lorry driver who tried to take his vehicle on board a cross-Channel ferry at Dover without declaring he was carrying dangerous goods has been ordered to pay nearly £6,000 in fines and costs.

Ioan Tonansoaie, 31, from Romania had already been turned away from the Channel Tunnel because he was carrying flammable goods.

On January 31 he headed for the Port of Dover and tried to board a ferry bound for Calais.

At check-in he failed to declare that he was carrying several items of dangerous goods amongst his load.

The ferry operator was already aware of the Channel Tunnel's refusal to carry the load and the Port of Dover Police were informed. He was prevented from boarding a ferry and asked for documentation.

Initially he produced some documents but not the dangerous goods notes. It was only when Tanasoaie was asked for them by the Police that he produced them from the back of his cab.

He was arrested pending further investigations by the Maritine Coastguard Agency Enforcement Unit.

Tanasoaie stated that he had separated the dangerous goods notes at the Channel Tunnel and had thrown them on his bunk in the back of the cab.

When passing through ferry check-in he claimed he had forgotten the notes were in the back of his cab and it was only when he was asked for them by the police that he said he remembered.

He was charged with contravening the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997 and was bailed to appear at Folkestone Magistrates Court.

Today, he admitted the offences and was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay £3,104.45 costs.

In passing sentence the Magistrates told him that the court took the view that this was a serious offence even though he did not get on a ferry.

"The intention was to load dangerous goods that could have had dangerous consequences," they said.

Dave Macrae, MCA hazardous cargo adviser, said: "Declaration of Dangerous Goods prior to boarding is very important as it informs the ships Master of the products on board so that he can be aware of the emergency procedures to follow.

"Ironically, based on the dangerous goods information produced by Tanasoaie, if he had presented them to the shipping line when booking in, he would have been able to board the ferry without any problems."

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