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Research Report

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The penalty system study regarding violations (against border crossing, fishing and gravel mining) of vessels registered in the Mainland Area (including Hong Kong and Macao)
Date:2020-10-01
Unit:Department of Maritime Security

一、 Since the lifting of martial law in 1987, to ensure the security and public welfare in the Taiwan Area and regulate dealings between the people of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the “Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area” (hereinafter referred to as the “the Act”) was established in 1992. For the requirements of the national security and marine defense, Article 32 states that “In the event that any vessel of the Mainland enters, without permission, into the restricted or prohibited uses waters of the Taiwan Area, the competent authorities may drive it away, seize the vessel as well as the cargo and detain the persons on board or take any necessary defensive action. With regard to the vessels and cargoes seized and the detained persons referred to in the preceding paragraph, the competent authorities shall take the following measures within three months...”

二、The fishing vessels crossing the border for fishing are the most severe cases among cross-border vessels of the Mainland. The government amended the penalty provisions and added the fines in 2015 and 2018, respectively, while the coast guard authority executed 6 administrative actions, including “chasing away the vessels,” “vessel seizing,” “detention for investigation,” “fishing tackle confiscation” and “fine punishment.” However, in the recent 3 years (from 2016 to 2018), the number and amount regarding the chasing away, detention and fining of Mainland vessels executed by the coast guard authority have still increased. Thus, the study will discuss the actual efficiency of the administrative action and suggestions for related policy adjustment.

三、 In the event that any vessel of the Mainland enters, without permission, into the restricted or prohibited waters of the Taiwan Area, the competent authorities shall drive it away and vessels that look suspicious shall be forced to dock and be inspected. Any vessel that ignores the turn-away signal, is involved in contraband, engages in illegal fishing in the restricted waters and engages in fishing or other illegal acts in the restricted or prohibited waters, the personnel onboard must or shall be detained together and transferred to the authorities concerned after the investigation within 3 months. The coast guard authority established the “Guidelines for the Marine Guarding of the Coast Guard Administration, Ocean Affairs Council” in December 24, 2004. To have “deterrence” among the vessels of Mainland for cross-border fishing in Taiwan and the Penghu area, the personnel onboard were all detained for investigation. The term of the seized vessels, cargoes and detained personnel is flexibly decided by the maritime patrol team depending on the case situation and the deterrence generated without exceeding 3 months of the statutory limit. However, similar to Article 64 of the “Immigration Act,” in case there are sufficient facts to prove that the people of the Mainland Area are involved in illegal actions, the temporary detainment shall not exceed 6 hours while the temporary detention period of the offenders shall not exceed 15 days. In contrast with the “Immigration Act,” the study may discuss issues such as the legality related to personal freedom protection for the 3 month “detention” that limits the personal freedom of the personnel on the cross-border fishing vessels of the Mainland for economic purposes to serve as the deterrent.

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