Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when the Secretary determines that it is appropriate, and that it will not interfere with Coast Guard missions, the Secretary may conduct operations with Coast Guard vessels, aircraft, facilities, or personnel, in such a way as to give assistance to film producers. As used in this section, “film producers” includes commercial or noncommercial producers of material for cinema, television, or videotape.
The Secretary shall keep account of costs incurred as a result of providing assistance to film producers, not including costs which would otherwise be incurred in Coast Guard operations or training, or shall estimate such costs in advance, and such costs shall be paid to the Secretary by the film producers who request such assistance, on terms determined by the Secretary. The Secretary may waive costs not exceeding $200 for one production, and may waive other costs related to noncommercial productions which the Secretary determines to be in the public interest. The Secretary shall reimburse the amounts collected under this section to the Coast Guard appropriation account under which the costs were incurred.