19 U.S. Code § 540 - President may use suitable vessels for enforcing customs laws
In the execution of laws providing for the collection of duties on imports and tonnage, the President, in addition to the Coast Guard vessels in service, may employ in aid thereof such other suitable vessels as may, in his judgment, be required.
R.S. § 5318 derived from act July 13, 1861, ch. 3, § 7, 12 Stat. 257.
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.
“Coast Guard vessels” substituted in text for “revenue-cutters”, the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life-Saving Service having been combined to form the Coast Guard by section 1 of act Jan. 28, 1915. That act was repealed by section 20 of act Aug. 4, 1949, section 1 of which reestablished the Coast Guard by enacting Title 14, Coast Guard.