Saturday, February 29, 2020, 19:37 (GMT+7)

Monday, August 19, 2019, 13:29 (GMT+7)
Overview of the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard

With an area of over 1 million km2 and rich in natural resources, Vietnam’s seas are of paramount importance to the cause of national construction and defense. Fully aware of this, over the past years, our Party and State have issued several guidelines and policies on strengthening the security and safety to safeguard the sovereignty over the seas and island of the country. Notably, we have actively acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982), promulgated the Ordinance on the Vietnam Coast Guard (1998) and many other documents and directives. After 20 years implementing the Ordinance, Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) have successfully accomplished the task of maintaining security and order on sea, and collaborated with friendly forces to firmly protect the country’s sovereignty over seas and islands.

Facing the complicated evolutions on the East Sea recently, especially sovereignty dispute over seas and islands, smuggling, piracy, illegal fishing, etc and international integration, it is necessary that we have a law to provide legal basis for VCG’s enforcement on sea, contributing to managing, protecting sovereignty, sovereign right, jurisdiction, national security, safety and order on Vietnam’s waters. Accordingly, the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defense, directly the Vietnam Coast Guard Command, functional agencies of the MND and other related ministries, sectors and localities, have been proactive in studying, advising and proposing the draft law. On November 19th, 2018, the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard was officially approved by the National Assembly (14th tenure) and came into effect on July 1st, 2019. This is a milestone, marking the new development of the VCG in particular, and the marine security sector of Vietnam in general, meeting the requirements and the mission of legal struggle on sea.

The Law on Vietnam Coast Guard includes 8 chapters, 41 articles with detailed contents which stipulates that: “Vietnam Coast Guard is a branch of the armed forces, the specialized force of the State and the core force in enforcing law and protecting national security, safety and order on sea”. According to the law, VCG has three groups of function, 7 groups of responsibility, and 10 rights. Besides, the law also rules the organization of VCG; its operations and regulations for collaboration; policies and benefits for the force; state management and responsibilities of ministries, sectors and localities for the force, etc.

In order that the Law is fully implemented in reality, it is necessary to carry out widespread propagation and dissemination of the law for not only cadres and troops of the VCG and armed forces, but also to people of all strata, especially those living in coastal provinces. Besides, there should be further specification, legal documents and plans for implementing the law in line with the features, mission, situation and requirements of sovereignty protection and marine economic development in each area. Continue to perfect the structure and staff of the force; regularly conduct training to make its troop politically steadfast, strongly determined and highly skilled. It is also necessary to make further investment in weapon and equipment to make VCG “revolutionary, regular, seasoned and modern”. Improve the level of coordination of the force with friendly forces (Navy, Fishery Surveillance, sea militia and self defense force, Vietnam Customs, etc). Strengthen international cooperation during the implementation of the law to bring into play the synergy and jointly settle defense and security situations on sea.

Nguyen Duc Phu

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