Fisheries Law (Revised) stipulates 14 acts that are considered illegal fishing

The revised Fisheries Law was passed by the National Assembly on November 21, 2017, including two chapters on fishing and fishing vessel management. Section 4 in Chapter IV of the Law containing two articles 60 and 61 on illegal fishing, details 14 acts that are considered as illegal fishing and the certification of fishery origin from exploited.

The content of the articles 60 and 61 are quoted as follows:

Section 4


Article 60. Illegal fishing

1. Acts that are considered illegal fishing include:

a)  Catching fish without permits;

b) Fishing in the area that is banned for fishing during the ban duration; fishing and transporting aquatic products that are banned for catching; catching aquatic species with smaller size than prescribed; using prohibited fishing gears;

c) Illegally exploiting aquatic species on the list of endangered, precious and rare aquatic species;

d) Illegal fishing in sea waters under the management of other regional, national and territorial fisheries management organizations;

đ) Exploiting aquatic species in excess of their output by species, exploiting the wrong areas or past the deadlines inscribed in the permits;

e) Concealing, forging or destroying evidence against the regulations on the exploitation and protection of fisheries resources;

g) Obstructing or opposing competent persons to inspect and supervise the observance of regulations on exploitation and protection of fisheries resources;

h) Transshipment or support to vessels identified as having engaged in illegal fishing activities, except in force majeure;

i) Failing to equip or inadequately equip or not operate communication equipment and monitoring equipment on vessels according to regulations;

k) Having no Certificate for eligibility in Food Safety according to regulations;

l) Temporary import, re-export, temporary export, re-import, border-gate transshipment or transit of fishery or aquatic products originating from illegal fishing through Vietnam's territory;

m) Failing to record, record inadequately or improperly, failing to submit fishing diaries, failing to report according to regulations;

n) Use a stateless or national vessel of a non-member country for the purpose of illegal fishing in international waters under the jurisdiction of a regional fisheries management organization;

o) Using fishing vessels to exploit fisheries resources not according to regulations on exploitation and protection of fisheries resources in international waters not under the management of regional fisheries management organizations.

2. Organizations and individuals that violate the provisions of Clause 1 of this Article shall, depending on the seriousness of their violations, will be administratively handled or examined for penal liability under the rule of law.

3. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development shall stipulate the publication of the list of fishing vessels engaged in illegal fishing.

Article 61. Fisheries Certificate of Origin from fishing

1. Vietnamese competent agencies certify raw materials and certificates of fishery products originating from fishing activities in Vietnam’s waters, not violating the regulations on illegal fishing for organizations and individuals if requested.

2. Imported raw materials are certified by the competent authorities of the exporting country with the origin from the exploitation not violating the regulations on illegal fishing when requested by the importing organization or individual.

3. Exported fishery products originating from imported raw materials, which are certified by Vietnamese competent agencies when exporting organizations or individuals request on the basis of the raw materials being certified not to originate from the illegal fishing by the competent authorities of the exporting country.

4. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development shall stipulate the contents, competence, order and procedures for certifying raw materials and certifying the origin of exploited fisheries resources; certifying imported raw materials or aquatic products produced from imported raw materials not originating from illegal fishing.

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