Legislation and law enforcement at sea

The Icelandic Coast Guard carries out general law enforcement duties on the ocean, including fisheries control, national security operations, border control in connection with the Schengen agreement, and marine pollution monitoring and control within the jurisdiction. General law enforcement on the ocean includes, above anything else, the patrolling and inspection of vessels at sea. This is carried out through co-ordinated communications from the ICG Operations Centre, its aircraft and patrol vessels. The ICG also monitors pollution, hazards to navigation and whether lighthouses and other aids to navigation are in order.

Tasks of the Icelandic Coast Guard.

  • Providing security and safety at sea in accordance with Iceland's international obligations, agreements with other States and the provisions of law.
  • Law enforcement at sea, including fisheries patrol, and assistance to law enforcement ashore in co-operation with the National and regional commissioners of police.
  • Search and rescue services to mariners and ships and other means of transport at sea.
  • Search and rescue services to aircraft.
  • Search and rescue services on land.
  • Urgent ambulance services in co-operation with other rescue organisations
  • Assistance to civil protection authorities.
  • Assistance in case of failure of ordinary communications, such as by reason of ice floe, layers of snow, violent weather or natural disasters.
  • Ocean patrol in accordance with the Act on the Maritime Security Act and other acts of law on similar matters.
  • Notification of, and disposal of, flotsam, mines, bombs or other sources of hazards to navigation, in addition to bomb disposal on land.
  • Hydrographic survey , charting, issue of notices to mariners, preparation of tide tables, sailing directions and other publications relating to navigation.
  • Reception of notifications from ships as provided for in the Act on Foreigners, and control of jurisdictional boundaries at sea.
The Minister shall, by Regulation, issue rules in further detail on the execution of the individual tasks.

Maritimes Acts and Regulations in English

Act on the Icelandic Coast Guard 2006, No. 52, 14th June

REGULATION On the Control of the Search and Rescue In the Search and Rescue Region of Iceland For a Maritime- and Aeronautical Rescue, No. 71/2011.

Ship Survey and the Safety of Vessels - Ship Survey Act No. 47/2003

Act Concerning fishing and processing by foreign vessels in Iceland´s exlcusive fishing zone. Act no. 22/1998

Act on Maritime Security, No. 50/2004, cf. amendments No. 18/2007
Act on Maritime Security, No. 50/2004, cf. amendments No. 18/2007

Act on marine and coastal antipollution measures (unofficial translation) No. 33/2004

Regulation No. 672/2006 on the Maritime Traffic Service (pdf)

Act No 76/2001 on Crews Serving on Board Icelandic Passengers Ships and Cargo Ships

Act on Investigation of Marine Accidents

Act on Maritime Security, No. 50/2004, cf. amendments No. 18/2007

Act on the Investigation of Aircraft Accidents

IMA Icelandic Maritime Administration Act No. 6/1996

Ship Survey Act No. 47/2003

The World Law Guide - icelandic law in english.


Police Act no. 90 13th June 1996

State symbols

Icelandic national flag

Penal Code and Punishment

Execution of Sentences Act No. 49/2005
General Penal Code No. 19, February 12, 1940

Excerpts from the General Penal Code, No. 19/1940, with subsequent amendments. Chapter XXII - Sexual Offences and Chapter XXIII - Homicide and Bodily Harm

Excerpts from the General Penal Code, No. 19/1940, with subsequent amendments, Act on Criminal Responsibility of Legal Persons, No. 144/1998, and Code of Criminal Procedure, No. 19/1991

Extradition of Criminals and Other Assistance in Criminal Proceedings Act No. 13, 17th April 1984


Act On Foreigners No. 96 /2002

Regulation on Foreigners

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