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Vietnam: Piracy at Sea

(Apr. 2, 2008) On January 17, 2008, the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) promulgated Decision No. 12/2008/QD-TTg, along with the Regulation on Coordination in Implementation of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). Under the Regulation, Vietnamese authorities will exchange information and documents with other parties to the ReCAAP and provide reports in accordance with the scope of the agreement; publicize provisions of the ReCAAP and of the Regulation; and carry out ReCAAP-related extradition and legal assistance activities. The SRV Coast Guard is the standing and coordinating body charged with representing Vietnam in cooperating with the Information Exchange Center (ISC) of ReCAAP. Its tasks are "to collect, receive and analyze information reported by contracting parties and other information on piracy and armed robbery against ships" handle the timely circulation of that information among contracting parties; and issue piracy warnings to ocean liners and fishing ships of the SRV and other contracting parties operating in the maritime areas under SRV jurisdiction. (DECISION No. 12/2008/QD-TTg: Region Joins Forces Against Piracy at Sea, VIETNAM LAW & LEGAL FORUM, Mar. 5, 2008, available at http://news.vnanet.vn/vietnamlaw/Reports.asp?CATEGORY_ID=3&SUBCATEGORY_
ID=8&NEWS_ID=2553
.)

The ReCAAP was concluded in November 11, 2004, and came into force on September 4, 2006; there are currently 14 contracting State Parties, including the SRV. Its aim is to increase multilateral cooperation on piracy and armed robbery issues among 16 countries in the region (Malaysia and Indonesia are not yet contracting states). (About ReCAAP ISC, ReCAAP ISC Web site, http://www.recaap.org/index_home.html (last visited Mar. 13, 2008).) In December 2007, the ReCAAP ISC and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) signed an agreement of co-operation. At the Second Annual Meeting of the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council held on February 26-28, 2008, external participants were for the first time invited to take part in some of the Council's deliberations. (Press Release, ReCAAP Information Sharing Center, The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre Establishes Itself as an Authority on Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships, and Develops as the Focus of Anti-Piracy Co-Operation in Asia (Feb. 28, 2008), available at http://www.recaap.org/news/pdf/press/2nd%20GC%20Press%20release%20-%20
revised%20(28-2-08).pdf
; see also IMO Library Services External Relations Office, Information Resources on Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea (Information Sheet No. 28), updated Feb. 20, 2008, available at http://www.imo.org/includes/blastDataOnly.asp/data_id%3D22684/Piracy_15
July2008_.pdf
; ReCAAP Agreement, http://www.recaap.org/about/pdf/ReCAAP%20Agreement.pdf (last visited Mar. 13, 2008).)