OF THE HEAD OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PEACE AND ODER
ACTIONS AGAINST ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED FISHING
Referring to the notification of the European Union requiring Thailand to strengthen the measures for prevention, deterrence and elimination of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing), if there is no concrete and urgent action against this problem within six months, an exportation of fish products of Thailand and national security may be affected eventually. It is therefore necessary to solve this problem sustainably and systematically by upgrading Thai’s fishing standards to meet with international requirements and rendering relief to fishermen and related industries and stakeholders. If no action is taken urgently, the national economy of the country may be affected adversely. In order to prevent and solve the aforesaid problem, the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order, by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim), B.E. 2557 (2014) and with the approval of the National Council for Peace and Order, has an order, as follows:
Clause 1. There shall establish the “Command Centre for Combating Illegal Fishing,” to be called in brief as CCCIF. CCCIF is a special task force responsible directly to the Prime Minister. The Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy shall be the commander of CCCIF. CCCIF shall commence its mission under this Order as from the 1st day of May B.E. 2558 (2015).
Clause 2. CCCIF composes of the followings:
(1) the Committee Against Trafficking in Humans and Illegal Fishing established by the Order of the Prime Minister No. 52/2558 dated 17th February B.E. 2558 (2015); acting as national policy and regulating unit;
(2) the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and the National Maritime Benefit Protection Coordination Centre (NMBPCC) established by the resolution of the National Securities Council dated 10th January B.E. 2540 (1997) as adopted by the resolutions of the Council of Ministers on 17th April B.E. 2540 (1997) and on 9th January B.E. 2541 (1998); acting mainly as coast and off-shore operation unit of CCCIF and acting in cooperation with any other related agency;
(3) the Port In-Port Out Controlling Centre (PCC) and Fishing One Stop Service Centre (FOSSC) to be established in all provinces-by-the-sea by the notification of CCCIF.
Clause 3. CCCIF shall have the powers and duties as follows:
(1) to prepare Thailand’s National Plan of Action to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing (NPOA-IUU), to regulate an execution of such plan and to establish understanding with the European Union;
(2) to control, order, supervise and arrange all operations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Labour, the Royal Thai Police and other related government agencies in relation to IUU fishing;
(3) to provide consideration and recommendation for the revision, amendment and reform of laws, rules and regulations in relation to IUU fishing to meet with international standard, particularly to the prevention of IUU fishing and suitable penalties;
(4) to lay down organisation structure and personnel of CCCIF. This structure shall consist of PCC and FOSSC in all Provinces-by-the-sea;
(5) to recruit official from government official or officer of any government agency as appropriate;
(6) to appoint committee, sub-committee and working group to be responsible for particular matter as it deems appropriate;
(7) to invite qualified person, government official, officer of any State agency or private agency as well as other related agencies and stakeholders to attend the meeting for determining operative guideline, cooperation and monitoring as appropriate;
(8) to cooperate with related agencies in order to strengthen cooperation with the third countries, especially the countries where Thai flag vessels conduct fishing within their territorials, for the compliance with international obligations;
(9) to report the result of operation to the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order for acknowledgement until the European Union lifts its notification on IUU fishing on Thailand;
(10) to conduct any other act as entrusted by the Prime Minister.
Clause 4. NMBPCC shall have the powers and duties as follows:
(1) to establish special task force, composing of vessels, aircrafts and personnel from related agencies in order to conduct law enforcement, and to control of activity, in the sea as notified by CCCIF responsively;
(2) to control and order all agencies working under NMBPCC;
(3) to integrate sea-related information of all concerning agencies through information technology system for updated situation in the sea;
(4) to recruit official from the agencies working under NMBPCC to work at Sea-related Information Exchange Centre (SIEC) so as to monitor, verify and examine illegal fishing of fishing boat. In this regards, SIEC shall also acting as the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Centre (MCS) to establish the complete traceability system as soon as possible;
(5) to conduct any other act as entrusted by CCCIF.
Clause 5. The Bureau of Budget shall allocate budget to CCCIF and NMBPCC for their executions of powers and duties through official budgetary procedure.
Clause 6. The owner or entrepreneur of fishing vessel, freezer vessel as well as any vessel used for fishing, or for transferring or maintaining aquatic animals from any vessel used for fishing, of exceeding 30 gross ton or as determined by CCCIF shall:
(1) prepare the fishing log in accordance with the form, period and procedure as notified by CCCIF;
(2) equip vessel monitoring system (VMS) in compliance with performance standard and functional requirements as notified by CCCIF within the period as notified by CCCIF;
(3) report port-in and port-out of vessel to PCC in accordance with the rules and procedure as notified by CCCIF.
After having equipped the vessel with the VMS, the owner or entrepreneur under paragraph one shall disclose the access code thereof to CCCIF and the VMS shall always be turn on while sailing in the sea so as to enable the official to identify location of the vessel. If such device is out of order or unable to send location of vessel by whatever reason, the rules of procedure as notified by CCCIF shall be proceeded.
The owner or entrepreneur under paragraph one shall be responsible for all expenses incurring from the access to the system for vessel location identification.
Clause 7. The registrar of vessel under the law on Thai vessel shall revoke the registration of Thai vessel used for fishing or other vessels as notified by CCCIF and striking that vessel from registration book if:
(1) any circumstance under section 22 of the Thai Vessel Act, B.E. 2481 (1938) emerged;
(2) the owner of the vessel requests in writing to cancel the registration;
(3) the registered vessel fails to obtain ship’s license or ship’s license has expired for more than three consecutive years.
If the order under paragraph one has been made, the registrar of vessel shall notify in writing the owner of vessel to return ship’s license within thirty days as from the date he receives that written notification from the registrar.
Clause 8. For the benefit of solving IUU fishing problem, no owner or entrepreneur of fishing vessel shall allow any person conducting the following acts to his vessel:
(1) having in possession of fishing gear which is not licensed to be used in fishing vessel;
(2) sailing fishing vessel with the fishing gears other than the gears identified in the fishing license, or with unlicensed fishing gear, from fishing pier;
(3) sailing fishing vessel which has not yet complied with the law on navigation in Thai water, the law on Thai vessel, the law on labour protection and the law on immigration from pier.
Clause 9. No person shall use fishing vessel to conduct fishing in territorial water of other States or in the high sea or sailing freezer vessel in territorial water of other States; provided that, the license of CCCIF has been granted in accordance with the rules, procedure and conditions as notified by CCCIF.
In granting of license under paragraph one, CCCIF may authorise related agency to act on its behalf.
Clause 10. No person shall use fishing vessel to conduct fishing in the water of other States or in the high sea in violation of rules and procedures of the Coastal State or of the Regional Fishing Organisation.
Clause 11. Whoever intends to sail fishing vessel, freezer vessel as well as any vessel used for fishing, or for transferring or maintaining aquatic animal from any vessel used for fishing, from Thai water or from the water of other States or the high sea into the Kingdom shall depart from or harbour at the pier or fish market pier as notified by CCCIF.
Clause 12. No person shall dock the foreign fishing vessel or freezer vessel listed in the banning vessel list as notified by CCCIF at any pier within the Kingdom.
Clause 13. The owner of vessel and fishing piers located in any Province-by-the-sea, including the pier located at any island, shall record information related to fishing vessel, freezer vessel as well as any vessel of all sorts and sizes which are used for fishing or for transportation or maintenance of aquatic animals and docked at his pier for inspection.
If the vessel under paragraph one is the vessel under clause 11, the owner of vessel and fishing pier shall gather and submit report related to port-in and port-out of such vessel to PCC in accordance with the rules and procedure as determined by CCCIF.
The record under paragraph one shall be made even if the owner or the possessor of the vessel refuses to report his port-in or port-out.
Clause 14. CCCIF and NMBPCC shall have the powers to appoint the competent official for the execution of this Order.
The competent official appointed under paragraph one shall have the powers to get on board of any vessel for examination and to detain any vessel which is not compliance with the provisions of this Order, law on navigation in Thai water, the law on Thai vessel, the law on fishing, the law on fishing rights within Thai fishing area, the law on labour protection and the other laws related to fishing and navigation.
In boarding on the vessel under clause 12, if there is a reasonable ground to suspect that such vessel involving in IUU fishing, the competent official shall have the power to have banning order on uploading aquatic animals or aquatic animal products therefrom. In case of foreign vessel, the competent official may order such vessel to travel abroad and shall inform the flag State and the Regional Fishing Organisation for further proceedings.
Clause 15. The competent official and the official of CCCIF and NMBPCC who necessarily acts in good faith upon non-discrimination and proportional basis to cease or deter the commission of any illegal act shall not be liable to any civil, criminal or disciplinary charge, but this is not prejudice to the right of the injured person to claim for compensation from the official under the law on liability of official in the commission of wrongdoing act.
Clause 16. All related government and State agencies shall, for the achievement of prevention and elimination of IUU fishing, seriously enforce the laws under their responsibilities and shall act in compliance with the NPOA-IUU efficiently. All shall enhance their efficiencies and capacities in the registration of vessel, the issuance and renewal of ship’s license, the issuance of fishing license and other related official documents for the prevention of the commission of an offence.
Clause 17. For the effectiveness of this Order, in the case where the official of CCCIF or NMBPCC has an order to any government agency or State official to act or to refrain from doing any act for the purpose of this Order, if such government agency or State official fails or omits to do such act or fails to refrain from doing such act, the official of CCCIF or NMBPCC shall report to the commander of CCCIF. In this case, the commander of CCCIF shall have the power to rotate the head of that government agency or that official from his responsible area at once and shall then inform the Minister or the government agency where such head of government agency or official is attached for acknowledgement altogether with reason. The Minister or the government agency where such head of government agency or official is attached shall in such case discharge that official from duties or from the performance of duties without delay. If there is a reasonable ground of disciplinary violation, the superintendent having powers and duties to recruit and appoint that head of government agency or official shall proceed with disciplinary procedure accordance with the law on such matter.
The order of the commander of CCCIF under paragraph one is not subjected to the Administrative Procedure Act, B.E. 2539 (1996) and the Establishment of the Administrative Court and the Administrative Court Procedure Act, B.E. 2542 (1999).
Clause 18. Whoever violates or fails to comply with clause 6, clause 8, clause 9, clause 10 or clause 11 shall be liable to imprisonment for the term of not exceeding one year or to a fine of not exceeding one hundred thousand Baht or to both.
Clause 19. Whoever violates clause 12 shall be liable to a fine of not exceeding thirty million Baht.
Clause 20. Whoever violates or fails to comply with clause 7 paragraph two or clause 13 shall be liable to a fine of not exceeding ten thousand Baht.
Clause 21. Whoever repeats the commission of the offense under this Order shall be liable for two times.
Clause 22. In addition to the liability as imposed by this Order, all official documents or licenses in relation to the activities under this Order of the owner or entrepreneur of fishing vessel, freezer vessel as well as any vessel used for fishing, or for transferring or maintaining aquatic animals from any vessel used for fishing who violates or fails to comply with this Order may be revoked by CCCIF. In this case, the government agency having powers to issue such official documents or licenses shall not issue the new documents or licenses to such person until the expiration of one year after the former documents or licenses had been revoked or the expiration of the period as notified by CCCIF.
Clause 23. The notification of CCCIF under this Order shall come into force upon its publication in the Government Gazette.
This Order shall come into force as from the date of its publication in the Government Gazette.[*]
Given on the 29th Day of April B.E. 2558 (2015).
General Prayut Chan-o-cha
Head of the National Council for Peace and Order
[*]Published in the Government Gazette Vol. 132, Special Issue 99 Ngo, dated 29th April B.E. 2558 (2015)
(c) 2015, Pakorn Nilprapunt, Full-time Law Councilor, Office of the Council of State of Thailand, firstname.lastname@example.org <Personal copyright>