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Old 18-10-2015, 13:39   #121
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Just for clarity:
The USCG does NOT have the Right or Authority to board foreign flagged vessels in International waters!

They just do it....and nobody challenges them!
Not completely accurate.

They have agreements with many nations to board that nation's flagged vessels. They also ask for, and usually get, permission to board from some nations that there are no standing agreements.

Here is a policy discussion by the USCG covering in detail what I stated:

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA329162

Much more detail here:

Jurisdiction - Chapter 3
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Old 18-10-2015, 14:39   #122
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Yes AVB3 and Pelagic, I Think You are both correct, but I would not want to argue it in the courts. The way the reference material is written you have be a Lawyer or have to have lots of money. I would recommend you try to work things out at the lowest level possible.
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Old 18-10-2015, 16:10   #123
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

According to USA Maritime law it is a crime to impede, obstruct or INTERFERE with Coast Guard persons during the course of their activity. An over wound up boat owner needs to be very careful in not crossing the line and being charged with interference with or impeding the Coast Guard.

If you do not carry drugs or you are not a gun runner than you have nothing to worry about. The guy sailing around Asia with a still onboard when he returns to USA waters could have a problem however. In fact he already could have a problem in that I believe he has a US flagged boat therefore is subject to US law no matter what seas he is sailing in.

One thing of interest to note is the Coast Guard can NOT arrest or detain a person on the high seas or waters outside of the United States who is subject to US civil proceedings. That is clearly stated as a limitation of their law enforcement reach. The limitation does say civil so I am not sure if it relates to criminals.

Bottom line is if you want to do stuff on board your boat that is acceptable in say Holland than don't register your boat in the US.

Since I have a zero tolerance policy for any kind of non prescribed drugs and in the case of weed even if it is prescribed and since I don't buy and sell either women, children or weapons I have nothing to worry about.

The only thing I need to worry about is that I may want to offer my Coast Guard visitors a cup of tea being the friendly hospitable person I am. This could get me into trouble though because your not allowed to offer the Coast Guard ANYTHING of value. Sigh. And definitely not a swig from a bottle of moonshine.
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Old 18-10-2015, 16:26   #124
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I was boarded a lot of times... be courteous, be polite... WITH ANY CG IN ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD if you want, be friendly... I respect the guys and never, never they disrespected me or the boat.. One time I was boarding with a drug dog and I instinctively, pet the doggy.. the master don't appreciate it because "she was working and lost incentive.." he was right and I not complaint...
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Old 18-10-2015, 16:33   #125
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Opinions and experiences vary; Thought I'd check the USCG sources.

Source: Jurisdiction - Chapter 3

{www.uscg.mil/international/affairs/publications/mmscode/english/chap3.htm}

Point #2 is most applicable to the current discussion, but I'm still researching the phrase: "unless one of the few exceptions is applicable".

I've broken what follows into sections for easier reading...
Begin Quote:


INTERNATIONAL LAW

When moving maritime law enforcement from the domestic to the international realm, the complexities multiply dramatically. There are three basic international principles which govern a state’s ability to assert jurisdiction over a vessel or over areas of water.

First, under international law, the flag state, the nation in which a vessel is registered, has the obligation to regulate and ensure the safe and lawful operation of a vessel flying its flag.

The second principle is that all nations have an equal and untrammeled right to navigate on the high seas (termed the freedom of the high seas). To ensure this principle of the freedom of the high seas, international law generally prohibits, with certain carefully delineated exceptions, any nation from asserting jurisdiction over foreign vessels on the high seas. Thus, unless one of the few exceptions is applicable, a vessel on the high seas is said to be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the flag state.

Finally, the third principle is that a vessel in the territorial waters of a state other than its flag state is ordinarily subject to the concurrent jurisdiction of the coastal state and the flag state; the nature and extent of the coastal state’s jurisdiction vary with the particular circumstances.

Warships and other government vessels entitled to sovereign immunity are not subject to this concurrent jurisdiction.

NNNN


Edit: Ah-ha.... I see that avb3 beat me to it.
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Old 18-10-2015, 16:49   #126
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Ref post #125

Point #1 appears to state that when it comes to safety checks/equipment on the high seas, my Austrian flagged vessel is under Austrian rules/control and not that of the USCG.

Point #2 - the "untrammeled right" -
Definition of untrammeled in English:
adjective
Not deprived of freedom of action or expression; not restricted or hampered...


All that stuff tells me..... There's gotta be SOMETHING arranged under international agreement(s) of which we (or at least I) have no written reference. On the other hand....Yes, might makes right and a USCG cutter will have us out-gunned on the high seas. They want to board, search, take drug swabs, then so they will.

Two-fifty nautical miles out - who ya' gonna call: Your lawyer? Good luck with that.

James
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Old 18-10-2015, 16:59   #127
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Not completely accurate.

They have agreements with many nations to board that nation's flagged vessels. They also ask for, and usually get, permission to board from some nations that there are no standing agreements.

Here is a policy discussion by the USCG covering in detail what I stated:

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA329162

Much more detail here:

Jurisdiction - Chapter 3
According to this 'essay' which is from 1997, the USCG have authority to board without consent of foreign countries where the vessle is registred 'when there are reasonable grounds to believe the vessel and person on board are engaged in criminal violations of US Laws that apply extraterritorially'.

It clearly articulates that boarding without foreign consent is using Congressional authority and is not a question of Law but of US policy.

I don't have time at the moment to respond to all of this, but it's pretty clear that they can only board with 'reasonable grounds for belief' of a crime.

And I've spotted nothing that gives authority for random drug swabbing, DNA or photograps or fingerprint taking.
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Old 18-10-2015, 17:03   #128
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Hears the conclusion: This is a 1997 essay from the Dean of Academics at the Naval War College.

Conclusion
The Coast Guard is legally bound to conduct law enforcement activity in compliance with the
laws of the United States and international law. Regardless of the extent of Coast Guard
authority to enforce U.S. law on the high seas pursuant to 14 U.S.C. 89, the actions of the U.S.
Coast Guard are also governed by the restrictions on its authority under international law. On the
high seas, under international law the Coast Guard has the authority to enforce U.S. laws that
apply extraterritorially only on board U.S. vessels, stateless vessels, and vessels where the flag
state has consented to the actions of the United States. The only exceptions to these three
categories are foreign vessels over which the Coast Guard asserts jurisdiction based on hot
pursuit, constructive presence, or any other type of action covered by international law, such as
piracy or slavery. If the United States were to exert jurisdiction over a foreign flag vessel on the
high seas outside of the regime described, the United States would be violating the cardinal
principles of exclusive flag state jurisdiction and freedom of navigation.
In addition to violating international law, the boarding of a foreign flag vessel on the high
seas without the consent of the flag state, unless an exception under international law exists,
would be a bad policy decision by the United States. Once the United States decides that it has
the authority to enforce U.S. law on the high seas without considering its scope of authority under
under international law, the United States will have a difficult time protesting the enforcement of
16
a foreign state's laws on a U.S. registered vessel on the high seas if the enforcement is done in
violation of international law principles, i.e. without the consent of the U.S. government.
Freedom of navigation on the high seas is too important a right to jeopardize solely for the hope
of a possible prosecution of suspected criminals. Generally, flag states of vessels engaging in
illegal activity either understand the responsibility of a flag state to police its own vessels and
would be insulted if the U.S. unilaterally usurped this role, or have no desire to take any action
and are more than willing, if requested, to let the Untied States take whatever action it desires. In
either case, if the United States were to take law enforcement action on a foreign flag vessel

without flag state consent, the United States would lose the goodwill of the flag state and any
hope of cooperation in future cases. Additionally, if the U.S. opens the door to allow law
enforcement actions on the high seas without flag state consent, the United States would be
taking a significant risk ofjeopardizing its long term national security interests in maintaining a
high seas regime that regards freedom of navigation as a fundamental foundation of international
maritime law.

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Old 18-10-2015, 17:10   #129
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

And here's the rub:

"On the high seas, under international law the Coast Guard has the authority to enforce U.S. laws that apply extraterritorially only on board U.S. vessels, stateless vessels, and vessels where the flag state has consented to the actions of the United States. "

Gotta ring up my Ambassador .....
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Old 18-10-2015, 17:15   #130
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
And here's the rub:

"On the high seas, under international law the Coast Guard has the authority to enforce U.S. laws that apply extraterritorially only on board U.S. vessels, stateless vessels, and vessels where the flag state has consented to the actions of the United States. "

Gotta ring up my Ambassador .....
Yes but the following is a very important part of that authority

'when there are reasonable grounds to believe the vessel and person on board are engaged in criminal violations of US Laws that apply extraterritorially'.

And in addition they can persue in hot persuit without flag state authority. But can't underestimate the 'belief on reasonable grounds bit'.
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Old 18-10-2015, 17:26   #131
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I
Pretty simple with the USCG , if you give respect you get respect. Quite different with clowns at the fWC...

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 18-10-2015, 18:09   #132
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Yes but the following is a very important part of that authority

'when there are reasonable grounds to believe the vessel and person on board are engaged in criminal violations of US Laws that apply extraterritorially'.

And in addition they can persue in hot persuit without flag state authority. But can't underestimate the 'belief on reasonable grounds bit'.
Your quote is missing an imortant bit. The bit on "reasonable grounds to believe the vessel and person on board are engaged in criminal violations of US Laws that apply extraterritorially" is applicable "only on board U.S. vessels, stateless vessels, and vessels where the flag state has consented to the actions of the United States".

Therefore a vessel flagged in a state that has not given consent can only be boarded under the hot pursuit, constructive presence, or any other type of action covered by international law, such as piracy or slavery.

I know the US is a powerful country and many of its citizens feel it is OK to use that power freely. However, as the author of the document posted upthread argues very clearly, if USCG violates international law then the US loses standing to complain when some other country does the same. This point is particularly important for a country, such as the US, that is very sensitive to its citizens being mistreated abroad.
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Old 18-10-2015, 18:21   #133
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Thanks Dan for having a go and respond to the question.

Can we stick to a boat in international waters though. Can they also take DNA samples, fingerprint and photograph at random as well?

Do you know what the legal authority is to take drug swabs at random?
I do not think they can take DNA or fingerprint on the high seas since that requires a search warrant for most cases. Take a photograph? Sure. I can photograph them and they can photograph me. That is a First Amendment issue. Goes both ways.

The drug swab would be just to see if there are any drugs and my guess is that it falls under the usual laws that allow inspections of boats, RV, cars and people crossing into the US. The Feds can pretty much do what they want in those circumstances. I don't think you can really separate border crossing with international waters because the laws spring from smuggling/border crossing situations to the high seas.

Later,
Dan
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Old 18-10-2015, 18:52   #134
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
They have agreements with many nations to board that nation's flagged vessels. They also ask for, and usually get, permission to board from some nations that there are no standing agreements.
I shudder to ask AVB, but is Canada one of the nations that has handed such authority to the USCG? I expect I know the answer
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Old 18-10-2015, 19:18   #135
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Originally Posted by dannc View Post
I do not think they can take DNA or fingerprint on the high seas since that requires a search warrant for most cases. Take a photograph? Sure. I can photograph them and they can photograph me. That is a First Amendment issue. Goes both ways.

The drug swab would be just to see if there are any drugs and my guess is that it falls under the usual laws that allow inspections of boats, RV, cars and people crossing into the US. The Feds can pretty much do what they want in those circumstances. I don't think you can really separate border crossing with international waters because the laws spring from smuggling/border crossing situations to the high seas.

Later,
Dan
Because I'm Australian I'm clearly replying from an Australian perspective and even then it depends on the states laws. Queensland seems to have more Liberal laws than the rest of us for example. But here, police can take photo's in crowds as anyone can, but they cannot take a mug shot photo routinely for record keeping. Not without what you guys might call probable cause. Here, certain offences have to be committed or certain other offences have to be suspected. Without that criteria then police need a warrant.

But, your border crossings aside, a non US ship in non US waters, e.g International waters, then I cannot possibly see how the US Government has an extention of border protection for any foreign flagged vessel in International waters..
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