The article deals with the regulations and the practical implementation of the cruising service of the Black sea fleet in the 1860s. The attention is also paid to the issues of armament of ships and their participation in the suppression of smuggling. There are used as materials the documents of the Central state archive of the Navy (St. Petersburg, Russian Federation), introduced into scientific circulation for the first time, and scientific publications on the research topic. The methodological basis of the study was the principles of objectivity and historicism, suggesting an unbiased approach to the analysis of the studied problems, a critical attitude to the sources, the judgments in the analysis of the totality of the facts and the screening phenomena in the development and the context of the historical situation. This is important when studying the extent of smuggling and countering it. The comparative method was applied during the work, which allowed to correlate the regulations and the practical implementation of cruising service. In conclusion the authors stated that military courts continued the cruising service in 1860s, which was aimed at curbing the Turkish smuggling. In order to avoid the complications in diplomatic relations with the foreign states there was spelled out in detail the terms under which the smuggling ship could be considered as lawful prize. The significant scale of smuggling in the 1860s is evidenced by the fact that only in 1863, the courts of the Black sea fleet intercepted 16 smuggling vessels. Copyright © 2017 by Academic Publishing House Researcher s.r.o. Copyright © 2017 by Sochi State University.