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Patrol, inspection and control duties of the Vietnam Coast Guard

According to Article 13 of the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard 2018, the Vietnam Coast Guard performs the task of patrolling, inspecting and controlling people, ships, goods, and luggage,... to detect, prevent and handle breaches of law at sea. Accordingly, Vietnam Coast Guard can stop ships for inspection and control in the following cases: (1) Directly detecting illegal acts or signs of law violation; (2) Detecting and recording law violations or signs of law violation through professional technical means and equipment; (3) There are denunciations and reports on crimes, illegal acts; (4) There is a written request from the competent authority for the pursuit of, arrest of people, ships and vehicles in violation of law; (5) Violators voluntarily report on illegal acts. When patrolling, inspecting and controlling, the Vietnam Coast Guard must display the colors of their ships, boats, aircraft and other means, flags, badges, identification marks and uniform. Agencies, organisations and individuals operating in Vietnamese territorial waters are required to abide by the inspection and control of the Vietnam Coast Guard.

On February 11, 2019, the Ministry of National Defence issued Circular No. 15/2019/TT-BQP regulating the patrol, inspection and control procedures of the Vietnam Coast Guard. Accordingly, the patrol, inspection, control and violation handling activities comply with the principle of preventing and strictly handling all violations of the law, contributing to ensuring security, order and safety on sea. The power to decide forces for patrolling, inspection and control is that: The Commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard decides the commander, composition and equipment of the patrol, inspection and control forces of agencies and units of Vietnam Coast Guard when the situation at sea is complicated, involving foreign elements; happening in a wide area involving many localities and many forces; Commander of the Coast Guard Regions shall decide the commanders, components and equipment of the patrol, inspection and control forces of units under his authority to perform in the waters under his management; The Director of the Department of Operations and Law shall decide the commanders, composition and equipment of the patrol, inspection and control forces of affiliated agencies in performing their tasks.

The patrol, inspection and control force includes: officers and soldiers on board of ships, boats and aircraft of the Vietnam Coast Guard; professional legal officers and soldiers, or coordinated forces and persons mobilised. Equipment for patrol, inspection and control include: ships, boats, aircraft and the equipment on the payroll of the Vietnam Coast Guard; ships, boats and civil technical means and equipment mobilised in accordance with Article 16 of the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard 2018. In addition, upon request of specific tasks for each patrol, inspection, and control, the commander of the force on patrol, inspection may decide on the quantity, composition, equipment, ships and boats of the force. The inspection and control team is a part of the patrol, inspection and control force of the Vietnam Coast Guard. On each ship or boat of the Vietnam Coast Guard on patrol, there must be at least 01 inspection and control team. Each team has at least 03 officers and soldiers, in which there must be at least 01 professional legal officer.

These are the important legal bases for the Vietnam Coast Guard to enforce the law at sea, contributing to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, and firmly protecting the sovereignty over seas and islands of the country.

Pham Binh 

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