The Coast Guard shall-
(1) enforce or assist in the enforcement of all applicable Federal laws on, under, and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;
(2) engage in maritime air surveillance or interdiction to enforce or assist in the enforcement of the laws of the United States;
(3) administer laws and promulgate and enforce regulations for the promotion of safety of life and property on and under the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, covering all matters not specifically delegated by law to some other executive department;
(4) develop, establish, maintain, and operate, with due regard to the requirements of national defense, aids to maritime navigation, icebreaking facilities, and rescue facilities for the promotion of safety on, under, and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;
(5) pursuant to international agreements, develop, establish, maintain, and operate icebreaking facilities on, under, and over waters other than the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States;
(6) engage in oceanographic research of the high seas and in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; and
(7) maintain a state of readiness to assist in the defense of the United States, including when functioning as a specialized service in the Navy pursuant to section 103.
(Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393,
This section defines in general terms, for the first time in any statute, all the primary duties of the Coast Guard. It is derived from title 14, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§45, 50k–50o, 51, 52, 53, 55, 60, 61, 62, 63, 98a, 104, 261, 301, title 33, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§720, 720a, 740, 740a, 740b, title 46, U.S.C., 1946 ed., §§1 (footnote), 2 (R.S. 1536, 2747, 2758, 2759, 4249; June 23, 1874, ch. 455, §1,
This section contains a codification of functions. It sets forth in general language the primary responsibilities of the Coast Guard: enforcement of all Federal laws on waters to which they have application, safety of life and property at sea, aiding navigation, and readiness to function with the Navy. Having been created in 1915 by the consolidation of the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life Saving Service, the Coast Guard has gradually been given additional duties and responsibilities, such as the assignment of law enforcement powers on the high seas and navigable waters in 1936, the transfer of the Lighthouse Service in 1939, and the transfer of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation in 1942. Existing along with these other duties has been that of maintaining a state of readiness as a specialized service prepared for active participation with the Navy in time of war. These various interdependent functions of the Service have not been expressed collectively in any statute heretofore, but it is believed desirable to do so in this revision in order to have outlined in general terms in one section the broad scope of the functions of the Coast Guard. 81st Congress, House Report No. 557.
A prior section 102 was renumbered section 717 of this title.
For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.