“Buying or selling more than 10 litres of fuel – petrol or diesel – in hand-carried containers is prohibited,” the order issued Thursday said, according to La Voix du Nord daily. There is an exception for those who require fuel for professional reasons.
The prefecture for the Pas-de-Calais department said the measure was necessary given a “growing presence” of migrants seeking to cross illegally to Britain.
The decree noted that petrol-fuelled outboard motors were “one of the main ways” of making the perilous voyage.
Since January 1st, authorities have recorded more than 700 attempted or successful crossings, the decree said, arguing for “all useful steps to dissuade and obstruct the organisation of such illegal and dangerous crossings”.
The measure, valid for two months, calls for a fine of €135 euros, which could rise to €3,700 for multiple offenders.
On Monday, British authorities recorded a new record of 430 migrant arrivals.
The BBC has reported that nearly 8,000 people aboard some 345 boats have reached British shores so far this year.