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Functions, duties and powers of the Vietnam Coast Guard

Vietnam Coast Guard was established on August 28, 1998 under Decision No. 1069/1998/QĐ-BQP of the Ministry of National Defence, with its rights, responsibilities, organisation and operation specified in the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard. Accordingly, the Vietnam Coast Guard is the people's armed force, a specialised force of the State, acting as the core in law enforcement and protecting national security, order and safety at sea.

Functions of the Vietnam Coast Guard: Advise the Ministry of National Defence to promulgate according to its competence or propose to the Party and State policies and laws to protect national security, order and safety at sea; to protect the national sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction in the territorial waters of Vietnam; Manage security, order and safety and ensure the observance of Vietnamese laws, international treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory, and international agreements according to its competence.

An illustrative photo (Source:

The duties of the Vietnam Coast Guard are specified in Article 8 of the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard 2018, including: (1). Collect information, analyse, evaluate and forecast the situation to propose undertakings, solutions, and plans to protect national security and law enforcement at sea; study, analyse, forecast, and advise competent authorities to issue policies and laws on the protection of sovereignty, sovereignty rights, national jurisdiction, national security in Vietnam’s waters, ensure order and safety and fight against and combat crimes and law violations at sea; (2). Protection of national sovereignty, sovereignty right, jurisdiction, security, national interests; protection of marine resources and environment; protection of property, legitimate rights and interests of agencies, organisations and individuals at sea; (3). Fight against and combat crimes, law violations, maintain security, order and safety at sea; searching, rescuing and participating in overcoming incidents of marine environment; (4). Participate in building defence and security posture and handling defence and security situations at sea; (5). Carry out law propagation, dissemination and education; (6). Receive and use human resources, ships and civil technical equipment and means mobilised to participate in the protection of national sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in Vietnam's territorial waters; (7). Implement international cooperation on the basis of international treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory and international agreements relating to the functions, duties and powers of the Vietnam Coast Guard.

Powers of the Vietnam Coast Guard include: Patrol, inspect and control people, ships, goods and luggage in Vietnam’s waters in accordance with this Law and other relevant laws. Use weapons, explosives, professional technical equipment, equipment and supporting tools in accordance with the law. Handle administrative violations in accordance with the law on handling of administrative violations. Carry out a number of criminal investigation activities in accordance with the law on organisation of criminal investigation agencies and the law on criminal procedures. Chase ships violating laws at sea. Mobilise people, ships, and civil technical means and equipment of Vietnamese agencies, organisations and citizens in emergencies. Request foreign organisations and individuals operating in Vietnam's territorial waters to provide assistance in case of emergency. Arrest ships in accordance with the law.

Implementing its assigned functions, duties and powers, the Vietnam Coast Guard has contributed to firmly safeguarding national sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction, and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment on the seas and islands of the country.


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