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14 USC 522a

The Coast Guard may make inquiries, examinations, inspections, searches, seizures, and arrests upon the high seas and waters over which the United States has jurisdiction, for the prevention, detection, and suppression of violations of laws of the United States. For such purposes, commissioned, warrant, and petty officers may at any time go on board of any vessel subject to the jurisdiction or to the operation of any law of the United States, address inquiries to those on board, examine the ship’s documents and papers, and examine, inspect, and search the vessel, and use all necessary force to compel compliance.


14 USC 522b

CG Officers May serve as officers of other executive offices but must adhere to the laws/regulations of that agency.


14 USC 522c

CG officers may assume more provisional powers when serving for other executive agencies.


14 USC 143

19 USC 1401

Coast Guard petty officers, warrant officers, and commissioned officers are also customs officers.


19 USC 1589a

Carry a firearm;
b. Execute and serve any order, warrant, subpoena, summons, or other process issued
under the authority of the United States;
c. Make an arrest without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in
the officer’s presence or for a felony, cognizable under the laws of the United States, and committed outside the officer’s presence if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony; and
d. Perform any other LE duty that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate.


Additional Customs Authority

1. Conduct customs border searches
2. Carry firearms and make warrantless arrests ashore
3. Obtain the assistance of any person, including private entities, in making any arrest


Protection and Security of Vessels, harbors, and Waterfront Facilities, including LE ashore

A. The Maritime Transportation Security Act;
b. The Magnuson Act and 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 6;
c. The Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA);
d. The Homeland Security Act; and
e. The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004.


Marine Transportation Security Act

The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) gives primary authority for Maritime Security (MARSEC) levels, port facilities, vessel reporting requirements, and enforcement security penalties


Magnuson Act and 33 CFR part 6

the authority to establish security zones, issue orders, inspect and search any vessel, waterfront facility, security zone, or person, article or thing thereon or therein, place guards, and remove unauthorized persons, articles, and things there from if the COTP deems such action necessary to prevent damage or injury to any vessel or waterfront facility, to safeguard ports, harbors, territories, or waters of the United States or to secure the observance of the rights and obligations of the United States.


What is the code for the Magnuson Act?

50 USC 191


LE Ashore

14 USC 99

1) carry a firearm
(2) while at a facility
(A) make an arrest without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence; and
(B) seize property as otherwise provided by law.


14 USC 99

Where and When?

1. At facilities;
2. While conducting port security operations; and
3. For offenses clearly tied to our statutory homeland security missions.


What is the code for waterfront facility?

46 USC 70101


Definition of a waterfront facility.

all piers, wharves, docks, or similar structures to which vessels may be secured and naval yards, stations, and installations, including ranges; areas of land, water, or land and water under and in immediate proximity to them; buildings on them or contiguous to them and equipment and materials on or in them.”


Code for access to facilities and/or vessels at facilities

33 CFR 101.515


Code and definition of Ports Waterways Security Act

33 USC 1226

take actions to prevent or respond to an act of terrorism against an individual, vessel, or public or commercial structure, that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States


Authorized acts under PWSA

1. Inspections;
2. Port and harbor patrols;
3. Establishment of security and safety zones; and
4. Development of contingency plans and procedures.


Homeland Security Act

established the homeland security missions of the Coast Guard: Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security (PWCS), drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, defense readiness, and other LE missions.


Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Act of 2004

establishes the Coast Guard’s authority to carry a firearm in the performance of official duties and, while at a facility, make an arrest without a warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence and/or seize property as otherwise provided by law.


14 USC 141

Under 14 U.S.C. 141, federal, state, and local agencies can request Coast Guard LE assistance when Coast Guard facilities and persons are especially qualified to perform a particular activity


The requirements for a lawful request for assistance made by the Coast Guard under 14 U.S.C. 141 are:

1. The head of the agency concerned must consent to the agency’s cooperation;
2. It must be for personal services, advice, information, or use of facilities;
3. It must be directed toward a federal agency, state, territory, possession, or political
subdivision thereof, or the District of Columbia; and
4. The requested assistance must be helpful in the performance of the Coast Guard’s


33 CFR part 6

33 CFR 6.04-11 permits Coast Guard COTPs to enlist the aid and cooperation of federal, state, county, municipal, and private agencies to assist in the enforcement of regulations issued pursuant to 33 CFR Part 6, which primarily involve enforcement of security zones.


CGIS authority

14 USC 95


Three elements of Jurisdiction

1. Substantive law;
2. Vessel status/flag; and
3. Location.


Exceptions to jurisdictional requirements

ROV, consensual boardings, rendering assistance


Substantive Law

A substantive law is one that prohibits certain action or requires affirmative conduct.


When was the UNCLOS signed?



What article of the UNCLOS authorizes ROVs?



What three things provide the Coast Guard with a basis for taking limited action without obtaining flag State authorization:

Consensual Boarding

Rendering Assistance



Can the CG conduct ROV boardings from properly marked vessels on non-commercial government service regardless of whether they are under the command of a commissioned officer?