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Listing Procedure

(Procedure for Listing and Delisting Vessels Presumed to Have Carried out IUU Fishing Activities in RPOA Participating Countries’ Jurisdictions)

 

Participating Countries to the Regional Plan of Action to Promote Responsible Fishing Practices including Combating IUU Fishing in the Region (RPOA),

Recognising that IUU fishing undermines the objective of the RPOA which is to enhance and strengthen the overall level of fisheries management in the region and to optimise the benefit of adopting responsible fishing practices,

Concerned that some vessels that operate in the region do not comply with obligations imposed by flag States,

Noting United Nation’s General Assembly Resolution 49/116 which calls upon States to take measures to ensure that no fishing vessels entitled to fly their flag fished in waters under the national jurisdiction of other States, unless duly authorised by the competent authorities of the coastal State or coastal States concerned and that such fishing operations be conducted in accordance with the conditions set out in the authorisation,

Noting further that the International Plan of Action to prevent, to deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IPOA-IUU) stipulates that the identification of vessels carrying out illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing should follow agreed procedures and be applied in an equitable, transparent and non-discriminatory way,

Noting the collective agreement by RPOA participating countries to cooperate in taking appropriate action to deter and eliminate IUU fishing in the South East Asian region,

Cognizant of the undertakings by the RPOA Coordination Committee in 2011 and 2012 to deny port access to any vessel on IUU vessel lists agreed by Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs)[1] other than for emergency purposes

Acknowledging that effective RPOA cooperation sends a powerful message to IUU operators,

Adopt the following procedure relating to action to be taken against vessels that may be engaged in IUU fishing in the South East Asian region that are either flagged to RPOA countries or flagged to a third party.

1.       Objective

The objective of this procedure is to establish an RPOA watch list of IUU fishing vessels to assist countries in focusing efforts to take action, where appropriate and when possible in accordance with national laws and consistent with the IPOA-IUU and other relevant international fisheries instruments, against vessels flagged to RPOA participating countries or flagged to a third party (non-RPOA countries) that are operating in the region and may be engaged in IUU fishing activities.

2.       Definitions

a) IUU activities

For the purposes of this procedure, IUU fishing activities refer to those activities defined as IUU fishing activities in Part II of the IPOA-IUU.

Illegal fishing refers to activities:

  • Conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a State, without the permission of that State, or in contravention of its laws and regulations;
  • Conducted by vessels flying the flag of States that are parties to a relevant regional fisheries management organisation but operate in contravention of the conservation and management measures adopted by that organisation and by which the States are bound, or relevant provisions of the applicable international law; or
  • In violation of national laws or international obligations, including those undertaken by cooperating States to a relevant regional fisheries management organisation.

Unreported fishing refers to fishing activities;

  • Which have not been reported, or have been misreported, to the relevant national authority, in contravention of national laws and regulations; or
  • Undertaken in the area of competence of a relevant regional fisheries management organisation which have not been reported or have been misreported, in contravention of the reporting procedures of that organisation.

Unregulated fishing refers to fishing activities;

  • In the area of application of a relevant regional fisheries management organisation that are conducted by vessels without nationality, or by those flying the flag of a State not party to that organisation, or by a fishing entity, in a manner that is not consistent with or contravenes the conservation and management measures of that organisation; or
  • In areas or for fish stocks in relation to which there are no applicable conservation or management measures and where such fishing activities are conducted in a manner inconsistent with State responsibilities for the conservation of living marine resources under international law.

b) Vessel

Vessel means any vessel, ship of another type or boat used for, equipped to be used for, or intended to be used for, fishing or fishing related activities; where fishing related activities means any operation in support of, or in preparation for, fishing, including the landing, packaging, processing, transshipping or transporting of fish that have not been previously landed at a port, as well as the provisioning of personnel, fuel, gear and other supplies at sea.

c) Decision making to establish RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List

The RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List will be agreed and recorded as a decision taken by each RPOA participating country at the annual Coordination Commmittee meeting. Each decision will be recorded in the minutes of the annual Coordination Committee Meeting. Participants at the RPOA Coordination Committee Meeting will be recognised as having the authority of their governments to take such a decision.

3.      Provisional RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List 

  1. Vessels will be considered for the Provisional IUU Watch List when there is evidence for believing that a fishing vessel has engaged in, or supported, IUU fishing activities which include, but are not limited to the following;At the same time as transmitting the information to the Secretariat, the nominating RPOA participating country will provide a copy of that information to the relevant flag State. This information will be provided in a timely manner and will include a request for the flag State to investigate the activities of the vessel and provide a response before the next Coordination Committee meeting;
    1. Name of vessel, and previous names if any;
    2. Flag of vessel, and previous flags if any;
    3. National registration number;
    4. Owner of the vessel including the beneficial[2] owner, and previous owners if any;
    5. Operators of vessel, and previous operators if any;
    6. Call sign and previous call signs if any;
    7. Lloyds/IMO number if any;
    8. Photographs of the vessel;
    9. Summary of the IUU fishing activities of the vessel, together with references to all relevant documents informing of and evidencing those activities, as per Annex 1.
  2. At the same time as transmitting the information to the Secretariat, the nominating RPOA participating country will provide a copy of that information to the relevant flag State. This information will be provided in a timely manner and will include a request for the flag State to investigate the activities of the vessel and provide a response before the next Coordination Committee meeting;
  3. The Secretariat will include the nominated vessel on the Provisional RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List and notify RPOA participating countries of the addition of the vessel to the Provisional IUU Vessel Watch List within 5 business days of receiving the information;
  4. The Provisional RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List will be publicised on the non-public area of the RPOA website and participating country representatives will be notified by email;
  5. RPOA participating countries will to the extent of their national laws,inspect and/or investigate any vessel on the ProvisionalRPOAIUU Vessel Watch List that enters their port(s) and provide all relevant information, including any inspection reports, to the Secretariat for circulation to RPOA participating countries;
  6. RPOA participating countries will endeavour to take all necessary measures, in accordance with their national laws, to not register or license a vessel that is identified on the Provisional RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List;
  7. The Secretariat will distribute the Provisional RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List, the flag State response if received and any RPOA participating country inspection/investigation reports, if available to RPOA participating countries 30 days prior to the annual RPOA Coordination Committee meeting.

4.       Listing on RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List

  1. At the annual RPOA Coordination Committee meeting, all relevant information relating to vessels on the Provisional RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List, including any subsequent investigations or information from the flag State and any sanctions that may have been applied, will be considered by RPOA participating countries when determining an RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List.
    If there is evidence of the IUU fishing activities as referred to in paragraph 2 a) and the flag state has not taken effective  actions, in accordance with their national laws , or other information shows the vessel engaged in the alleged IUU fishing activity, RPOA participating countries will agree to include a vessel on theRPOA IUU Vessel Watch List.
  2. Where the Coordination Committee has made a decision to adopt an RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List, the Secretariat will inform the vessel’s flag State of its inclusion within 10 business days of the adoption of the record of the annual meeting. The Secretariat will ask the flag State to investigate the activities of the vessel and to take all necessary action, consistent with its national laws, to prevent the vessel from undertaking IUU activities in the region.
  3. The RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List will include the following information:
    1. Name of vessel, and previous names if any;
    2. Flag of vessel, and previous flags if any;
    3. National registration number ;
    4. Owner of the vessel including the beneficial[1] owner, and previous owners if any;
    5. Operators of vessel, and previous operators if any;
    6. Call sign and previous call signs if any;
    7. Lloyds/IMO number if any;
    8. Photographs of the vessel;
    9. Initial date of listing and any subsequent listing;
    10. Summary of the alleged activities of the vessel;
    11. Any sanctions that may have been applied.

    The RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List will be maintained on participating countries area on the RPOA website and its publication made known to RPOA participating countries. The RPOA Coordination Committee will decide those listed vessels that will be publicized more widely.

  4. For vessels listed on the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List, RPOA participating countries will, consistent with their national laws:
    RPOA participating countries will endeavour to provide all relevant information and subsequent action on any listed vessel to the Secretariat within 5 business days of obtaining that information;

    1. Refuse entry to their port(s) of any listed vessel, except in a situation of force majeure, or any vessel that has been denied port access by another RPOA country;
    2. Where denial of a vessel into port is not possible, including for force majeure reasons, the vessel will be inspected/investigated in a timely manner and the resulting report provided to the Secretariat for further distribution, as appropriate;
    3. Require that fishing vessels, support vessels, motherships or cargo vessels flying their flag do not participate in any transshipment or joint fishing operations with listed vessels;
    4. Refuse to register or grant their flag or a fishing permit to listed vessels;
    5. Prohibit the chartering of listed vessels;
    6. Take action, where possible, to prohibit commercial transactions, imports, landing and/or transshipments of product caught by listed vessels;
  5. RPOA participating countries will endeavour to provide all relevant information and subsequent action on any listed vessel to the Secretariat within 5 business days of obtaining that information;
  6. The Secretariat will advise RPOA participating countries and as appropriateadvisory bodies, and the FAO of any updatewithin 5 business days.

5.       Delisting of RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List

  1. Vessels listed on the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List will remain on the list unless an application for delisting is received from the flag State and agreed by RPOA participating countries at the annual meeting of the RPOA Coordination Committee;
  2. A flag State with a vessel on the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List may request the delisting of the vessel by submitting to the Secretariat documentation demonstrating that one or more of the following conditions has been met:The Secretariat will notify all RPOA participating countries of the delisting request, including all supporting information, within 10 business days following receipt of the delisting request;
    1. The vessel did not engage in the activities that led to the listing of the vessel on the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List;
    2. The flag State has taken effective action in response to the IUU fishing activities, consistent with national law, including prosecution and imposition of sanctions of severity commensurate with the activities in question;
    3. The vessel has changed ownership and that the new owner can establish that the previous owner no longer has any legal, financial or meaningful interests in the vessel or exercises control over it, and that the new owner has not participated in IUU fishing activities.
  3. The Secretariat will notify all RPOA participating countries of the delisting request, including all supporting information, within 10 business days following receipt of the delisting request;
  4. At the next annual RPOA Coordination Committee meeting following receipt of a delisting request, RPOA participating countries will review any delisting request and determine whether the vessel will be removed from, or remain on, the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List. A vessel will only be removed if it meets one of the conditions listed in paragraph 5. b);
  5. If RPOA participating countries agree to delist the vessel from the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List, the Secretariat will remove the vessel from the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List and inform the flag State, and if appropriate advisory bodies, and the FAO of the delisting of that vessel from the RPOA IUU Vessel Watch List.