Cutter Guidance Version 2Final
1.2 The UK retains full sovereignty over its internal waters
. This means that UKBorder Force officers may exercise both customs and immigration
powers to stopand board a suspect ship (regardless of flag) under their relevant legislation whilst it islocated in the internal waters. PACE also applies in relation to anyone detained by aUK Border Force Officer on the boarded ship which at the relevant time is located inthe internal waters.
1.3 With regard to the at-sea anti-smuggling operations in territorial seas, UKBorder Force Officers may rely on their customs powers set out in the Customs andExcise Management Act 1979 (CEMA) to stop and board the target ship whilst it islocated within the limits of a customs port (see Chart LOS2E, and list of customs portapprovals at Annex B)
. The aim of these type of interdiction operations is to enforcethe relevant provisions in the customs and excise acts.1.4
Generally a coastal state‟s zones of maritime
are elective; they donot exist unless declared by the coastal state. The UK has elected to exercisesovereignty over vessels in its territorial seas (extending 12 nautical miles from thebaselines) subject to The United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).1.5 Under UNCLOS foreign ships enjoy the right of innocent passage in the
s territorial seas.
This means that HM cutters must not hamper theinnocent passage of a foreign ship through
territorial seas provided it is notprejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the UK. Amongst the activitieslisted as being so prejudicial, is "the loading or unloading of any commodity, currency
Sovereignty means that the law of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland applies overvessels in the internal waters as if it would when the vessel is alongside at a port.
Immigration Act 1971, schedule 1, para 1(4) and (5)
Maritime operation around the coastline of the IoM must be carried out in accordance with theprovisions of the MOU and with the consent of the IoM authorities. Legal advice from HOLAB shouldbe sought in the event of a maritime operation around the coastline of Northern Ireland.
Jurisdiction means the authority of a sovereign power (i.e. the UK) to legislate and enforce its laws.
Article 17 UNCLOS
The meaning of
is defined in
Article 18; but note that passage"shall be continuous and expeditious"(Article 18.2). This does not mean non-stop; stopping andanchoring must, however, be incidental to navigation or necessitated by force majeure or distress orrendering assistance