Carrier Sanctions in Europe: A Comparison of Trends in 10 Countries

Theodore Baird*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Carrier sanctions are penalties given to transport companies if they carry improperly documented passengers. While the literature on carrier sanctions grapples primarily with comparative legal and normative questions surrounding asylum-seeking and democratic accountability, the empirical material covering the implementation of carrier sanctions is more limited. None of the literature to date has examined the statistical trends in the enforcement of carrier sanctions by European states. This article fills this gap and provides the first comparative analysis of statistics on the yearly number and costs of carrier sanctions. Through a new dataset on the implementation of carrier sanctions in 10 European countries between 2000-2014, the data reveal a puzzling variation in carrier sanction implementation over time, with wide variation among states, due in part to the un-reliability of the data. These variations are discussed in the context of current legal, political, and migratory trends in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-334
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Journal of Migration and Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • carrier sanctions
  • European Union
  • externalization
  • privatization


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