Vietnam Coast Guard
Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam
Insignia of the Vietnam Coast Guard [1]
Insignia of the Vietnam Coast Guard [1]
Vietnam Coast Guard racing stripe
Vietnam Coast Guard racing stripe
Vietnam Coast Guard flag
Vietnam Coast Guard flag
Pennant and ensign
Common nameCảnh sát biển, Coast Guard, Vietnamese Coastguard
AbbreviationVCG / CSB(VN)
Agency overview
Formed28 August 1998 (as Vietnam Marine Police)
Preceding agency
  • Vietnam Marine Police (former name)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionVietnam
Governing bodyVietnam People's Armed Forces
Constituting instrument
  • Ordinance No. 04/1998/PL-UBTVQH10 of the Standing Committee of the People’s Assembly of Vietnam on the Marine Police of Vietnam
Specialist jurisdiction
  • Coastal patrol, marine border protection, marine search and rescue.
Operational structure
Overviewed byVietnam Coast Guard Command
Agency executives
Parent agencyVietnam Government of Vietnam (since 2013)
Vietnam Vietnam People's Navy (1998-2008)
Vietnam Ministry of National Defence (2008-2013)
Patrol boats50+ patrol boats
6+ offshore patrol vessel
6 transport and logistics vessels with capability to engage in any patrol or SAR missions
Salvage tugs5 Salvage tugs
Rescue boats4 search and rescue ship
Patrol aircraft2 CASA C-212 Aviocar
Significant operation
  • 28 August
    Colours: Blue, White, Orange

Vietnam Coast Guard (Vietnamese: Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam, lit.'Maritime Police of Vietnam') is the coast guard and officially a uniformed people's armed force of Vietnam. It is purposed to perform search and rescue duties, along with their duties of combating and preventing smuggling, piracy, and trade fraud in Vietnamese waters.

Until 2013, it was formally a branch of Vietnam's military, the Vietnam People's Army, and fell under the management of the Vietnam Ministry of National Defence. Since August 27, 2013, it has been transferred under the direct management of the Government of Vietnam, and has also changed its name from Vietnam Marine Police (VMP) to the current Vietnam Coast Guard name. Since its creation in the late 1990s, the Vietnam Coast Guard plays an important role in maintaining sea security and protection of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf boundary. It has dispatched forces in waters in overlapping areas between Vietnam and foreign countries, providing protection and assistance to local fishermen when necessary.

Leadership and principles of organization

[2] According to the Vietnam Coast Guard Law (Vietnamese: Luật Cảnh sát biển) which "prescribes the status, functions, roles, powers, organization and operation of the Vietnam Coast Guard" and declaring the "responsibilities of involved entities and persons", the Vietnam Coast Guard shall be "...under the absolute and all-aspect leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the supreme command of the President of Vietnam, the unified State management of the Government of Vietnam as well as the direct command and administration of the Vietnamese Minister of Defence."

Even though it is no longer a formal part of the People's Army of Vietnam which is the national military force, the Vietnam Coast Guard is still considered as a people's armed force (Vietnamese: lực lượng vũ trang nhân dân), having formal military officers, professional soldiers, non-commissioned officers, servicemen, workers and civil servants belonging to the established staff of the Vietnam Coast Guard. The Vietnam Coast Guard is still under the direct administration - but not actually a part - of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, and it still requires formal cooperation with the People's Army of Vietnam branches despites its status of not being a fully military force.


Previously, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam did not have a dedicated Coast Guard; the Navy had been used for offshore patrol and related military activity, along with the Border Patrol Directorate (Bộ Tư Lệnh Biên Phòng), which had checkpoints in estuarine and littoral areas. These bodies were equipped with small boats for short pursuit and related equipment intended for short-term security applications. All river patrol responsibility belongs to the Fluvial Police (Cục Cảnh sát giao thông đường thủy - Bureau code:C25), supervised by provincial and/or local police office (Ministry of Public Security - Vietnam People's Public Security), and sometimes to the Vietnam Customs (Hải Quan), depending on the particular geographical responsibility (fluvial or fresh water only).[3]

In order to relieve the burden on the Navy during peacetime and protect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Vietnam in its maritime zones in compliance with international law, the Vietnam Coast Guard was then established under the name Vietnam Marine Police and placed under the Vietnam People’s Navy in 1998.[3]

The Vietnam Coast Guard was first set up through President Tran Duc Luong's order No 3-L/CTN (7 April 1998), announcing the Ordinance on the Vietnam Marine Police, which had been accepted by The Tenth National Assembly of Vietnam on 28 March 1998.[4]

The Vietnam Coast Guard (which was still known as the Vietnam Marine Police) became independent from the Vietnam People's Navy on 1 March 2008. It has in-scope intelligence based on international exchange and co-operation with its ASEAN counterparts in smuggling and on-sea drug interdiction operations. As an organization established to fight against illegal trafficking, it was keen to start with a fresh image, equipped with adequate technology and hardware, to deploy efficiently for its various specific missions. The current organizational pattern will serve as a role model for future extended projects.[3]



In its internal waters, territorial waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, the Vietnam Coast Guard has a mission to patrol and enforce laws in accordance with those of Vietnam and international treaties concerned. Vietnam is a contracting member on agreements (such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)) on defending sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection of natural resources, prevention of environmental pollution; detecting, preventing and combating acts of smuggling; piracy, trafficking, and transporting illegal narcotics. Besides, the Vietnam Coast Guard has a mission to patrol all the seas in the Southeast Asia region to protect freedom of navigation on the seas.

The Vietnam Coast Guard is responsible in co-operating with functional agencies to complete its mission. If any incident happens at sea, the Vietnam Coast Guard has the responsibility to inform to the functional agencies and co-ordinate with foreign countries to settle the issue. Lt. General Phạm Đức Lĩnh said in The 7th Heads of Asia Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM - 7) in July 2011: "The Vietnam Coast Guard is used in overlapping sea areas between Vietnam and foreign countries. Local fishermen will be better protected and assisted if necessary, and we will remind local fishermen not to cross into the waters of foreign countries."[5] In October 2013 the VCG were transferred from the navy to the coast guard, apparently so as to qualify for Japanese equipment aid.[6]

The Vietnam Coast Guard is responsible for protecting the security of Vietnam's coast line and deals with problems like:

In addition to its role, the Vietnam Coast Guard has moved their headquarters from Haiphong to Hanoi in February 2008, due to current needs to address these tasks. Current headquarters are located at 94 Le Loi Street, Nguyen Trai ward, Ha Dong district, Hanoi. Their training base and logistic support facilities remain in Haiphong.


Organizational system

1. Coast Guard Command[7]

2. Units in Coast Guard Department:

Regional Coast Guard

Vietnam Coast Guard regions

International co-operation

CASA C-212 series 400 of Vietnam Coast Guard

The Vietnam Coast Guard and Philippine Coast Guard have signed an agreement to set up a hotline in principle. In the near future, both will draft detailed regulations on prompt co-ordination, if a situation at sea occurs.[8]

On 14 July 2012, Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Kōichirō Genba and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh had a meeting in Hanoi. The Japan Coast Guard is willing to help Vietnam bolster its coastal patrol capabilities, including setup of operations and training its personnel.[citation needed]

The Vietnam Coast Guard plans to be equipped with modern facilities to effectively carry out their tasks to maintain security, order, and safety in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone with the close co-operation with regional coast guards of regional countries.[9] To solve issues such as piracy, smuggling, trade fraud and transportation of persons, illegal drugs, disaster search and rescue, the Vietnam Coast Guard collaborates with several countries for networking exercises.[citation needed]


Main type of patrol vessels in Vietnam Coast Guard

A contract was signed between Vietnam and the United States for the United States Coast Guard to help train the Vietnam Coast Guard beginning in 2009. The United States Coast Guard kicked off its partnership program with the Vietnam Coast Guard under the Export Control and Related Border Security program by conducting two sessions of the Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer course in Hai Phong and Phu Quoc, 12–23 October 2009. This was the first United States Coast Guard engagement with the Vietnam Coast Guard under their new partnership program.[citation needed]

The Vietnam Coast Guard has also cooperated with the Dutch Damen Group to build large vessels under Dutch license in Vietnam by companies including the Song Thu company and the 189 company. Vessels that have been completed include one offshore patrol vessel (9014), one hydrographic survey vessel (6613), and four salvage tugs.[10]

In 2008, the Vietnam Coast Guard received three ocean sentry CASA C-212 Aviocar - Series 400 turboprop aircraft equipped with MSS 6000 systems from Airbus Military.[11]

The Vietnamese government has planned to invest in upgrading facilities for the force, including modern ships which can operate in bad weather and stay for longer periods at sea. Furthermore, the force is also equipped with helicopters to enhance its operations at the border of the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Vietnam to protect its territorial waters and Vietnamese fishermen. This is especially important with the ongoing disputes over sovereignty in and around Vietnamese waters.[8][9]


A TT-400 type patrol boat, numbered CSB 4039, stationing at An Thới, Phú Quốc alongside local fishing boats.

The Vietnam Coast Guard's vessels are equipped with specialised functions. A majority of VCG-commissioned ships are locally-built:

Vietnam Coast Guard's vessels are named (or numbered, since VCG does not adopt literal naming) with the prefix CSB (abbreviated from the Vietnamese name Cảnh sát biển lit.'Coast Guard' or 'Marine Police') followed by a three or four-digit hull number. All vessels are designed with the orange-colored racing stripes which is similar to the US Coast Guard's Service Mark. Except a minor number of search and rescue ships which are painted in orange and a few reconnaissance/intelligence ships painted in blue and lacking the service marking, the remaining part of VCG fleet is categorized as white hulls and painted in the respective color. Since the formation of the force until 2015, VCG had used a blue hull color which is comparable to the Russian Coast Guard, however, from early 2015, white has been designated as the standard hull color for VCG to satisfy the international conventions.

Photo Type


Builder Role Quantity List of ships and notes
Patrol vessels
Hamilton-class cutter
3250 tons
 United States Patrol 2 (1) [12][13] CSB 8020(former USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-722))

CSB 8021 (former USCGC John Midgett (WHEC 726)).[13][14]

DN 2000

(Damen OPV 9014)
2500 tons

 Netherlands Vietnam Patrol 4[15] CSB 8001, CSB 8002, CSB 8004, CSB 8005
Han-river class
1500 tons
Vietnam Vietnam Patrol 1 CSB 8003
1200 tons
 Vietnam Patrol/Transport 2 CSB 6006, CSB 6007
1500 tons
 Japan Patrol (6)[16] Six ships on order.
Teshio class (Natsui class)
600 tons
 Japan Patrol/Transport 5 CSB 6001, CSB 6002, CSB 6003, CSB 6004, CSB 6005
400 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 9 (1)[17] CSB 4031, CSB 4032, CSB 4033, CSB 4034, CSB 4035, CSB 4036, CSB 4037, CSB 4038, CSB 4039
398 tons
 Vietnam Patrol/Intelligence/SAR 3 CSB 6008, CSB 6009, CSB 6011
Patrol boat
280 tons
Vietnam Vietnam Patrol 2 CSB 2015, CSB 2016
200 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 14 CSB 2001, CSB 2002, CSB 2003, CSB 2004, CSB 2005, CSB 2006, CSB 2007, CSB 2008, CSB 2009, CSB 2010, CSB 2011, CSB 2012, CSB 2013, CSB 2014
148 tons
 Soviet Union Patrol 4 CSB 5011, CSB 5012, CSB 5013, CSB 5014
120 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 14 CSB 1001,CSB 1011,CSB 1012, CSB 1013, CSB 1014, CSB 3001, CSB 3002, CSB 3003, CSB 3004, CSB 3005, CSB 3006, CSB 3007, CSB 3008, CSB 3009
High-Speed Patrol boat MS50S  Vietnam Patrol 26 CSB 426, CSB 427, CSB 603, CSB 604, CSB 605, CSB 606, CSB 607, CSB 608, CSB 609, CSB 610, CSB 611, CSB 612, CSB 613, CSB 614, CSB 615, CSB 616, CSB 617, CSB 618, CSB 619, CSB 620, CSB 621, CSB 622, CSB 623, CSB 624, CSB 625, CSB 626
Metal Shark 45 Defiant  United States Patrol 24[13] CSB 701, CSB 702, CSB 703, CSB 704, CSB 705, CSB 706, CSB 707, CSB 708, CSB 709, CSB 710, CSB 711, CSB 712, CSB 713, CSB 714, CSB 715, CSB 716, CSB 717, CSB 718
Utility ships
Damen Salvage tug 4612
1400 tons
Search and rescue 5 CSB 9001, CSB 9002, CSB 9003, CSB 9004, CSB 9005
2900 tons
 Vietnam Replenishment/Transport/Patrol/SAR 1 CSB 7011
Aircraft (2 in service)
Photo Type Builder Role Quantity Notes
CASA C-212 Aviocar series 400  Spain Patrol/SAR 2 VCG-8981, VCG-8982

Total of three aircraft. One was lost during searching of missing Su-30 fighter.[18]

Table of Ranks

See also: Vietnamese military ranks and insignia

Commissioned officer ranks

The rank insignia of commissioned officers.

Rank group General / flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Vietnam Coast Guard[19]
Trung tướng Thiếu tướng Đại tá Thượng tá Trung tá Thiếu tá Đại úy Thượng úy Trung úy Thiếu úy Học viên Sĩ quan

Other ranks

The rank insignia of non-commissioned officers and enlisted personnel.

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
Vietnam Coast Guard[19]
Thượng sĩ Trung sĩ Hạ sĩ Binh nhất Binh nhì

See also


  1. ^ "Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam | TRANG THÔNG TIN ĐIỆN TỬ CỦA LỰC LƯỢNG CẢNH SÁT BIỂN VIỆT NAM" (in Vietnamese). 5 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Luật Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam 2018 số 33/2018/QH14 mới nhất" [2018 Vietnam Coast Guard Law]. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Thi Lan Anh, Nguyen; Ngan Ha, Mai (2018). "Vietnam Maritime Law Enforcement". Korean Journal of International and Comparative Law (6): 172–198.
  4. ^ a b "Pháp Lệnh Lực Lượng Cảnh Sát Biển Việt Nam". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Vietnam Marine Police Force to be equipped with modern vehicles". Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  6. ^ Sasaki, Manabu; Makino, Yoshihiro (2 June 2014). "Japan Coast Guard vessels and equipment in high demand in S.E. Asia, Africa". THE ASAHI SHIMBUN. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Cảnh sát biển đảm bảo an ninh vùng biển Việt Nam - Báo Khoa học Đời Sống Online, 21/10/2009 20:05:44". 21 October 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Cảnh sát Biển VN nâng phạm vi hoạt động - Tiền Phong Online". 28 October 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Vietnam Marine Police Force's international cooperation strengthened - Quân đội nhân dân". Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Damen expanding in Vietnam | Stop Wapenhandel". 6 April 2011.
  11. ^ "Airbus Military delivers coast guard airplane to Vietnam - Airbus Military delivers coast guard airplane to Vietnam". Saigon Times Online. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  12. ^ "Patrol boat transferred to Vietnam Coastguard".
  13. ^ a b c "Mỹ hỗ trợ 58 triệu USD chuyển giao 2 tàu tuần tra cỡ lớn cho Việt Nam". Báo Thanh Niên (in Vietnamese). 29 July 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Vietnam to get second Hamilton-class cutter from US in 2020". 9 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Vietnam Coast Guard".
  16. ^ "Tìm hiểu tàu tuần tra Nhật Bản đóng cho Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam". Báo Thanh Niên (in Vietnamese). 31 July 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Triển khai đóng mới tàu tuần tra cao tốc chiếc số 10 của Bộ Tư lệnh Cảnh sát biển". Vietnam Coast Guard. Retrieved 29 November 2023.
  18. ^ Newspaper, Tuoi Tre (30 January 2016). "Vietnam jet goes missing while searching for lost pilot and fighter jet". Archived from the original on 20 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Quy định quân hiệu, cấp hiệu, phù hiệu và lễ phục của Quân đội nhân dân Việt Nam". (in Vietnamese). Ministry of Defence (Vietnam). 26 August 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.