6 U.S. Code § 468. Preserving Coast Guard mission performance

(a) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) Non-homeland security missionsThe term “non-homeland security missions” means the following missions of the Coast Guard:
Marine safety.
Search and rescue.
Aids to navigation.
Living marine resources (fisheries law enforcement).
Marine environmental protection.
Ice operations.
(2) Homeland security missionsThe term “homeland security missions” means the following missions of the Coast Guard:
Ports, waterways and coastal security.
Drug interdiction.
Migrant interdiction.
Defense readiness.
Other law enforcement.
(b) Transfer

There are transferred to the Department the authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, which shall be maintained as a distinct entity within the Department, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto.

(c) Maintenance of status of functions and assets

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the authorities, functions, and capabilities of the Coast Guard to perform its missions shall be maintained intact and without significant reduction after the transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department, except as specified in subsequent Acts.

(d) Certain transfers prohibited

No mission, function, or asset (including for purposes of this subsection any ship, aircraft, or helicopter) of the Coast Guard may be diverted to the principal and continuing use of any other organization, unit, or entity of the Department, except for details or assignments that do not reduce the Coast Guard’s capability to perform its missions.

(e) Changes to missions
(1) Prohibition

The Secretary may not substantially or significantly reduce the missions of the Coast Guard or the Coast Guard’s capability to perform those missions, except as specified in subsequent Acts.

(2) Waiver

The Secretary may waive the restrictions under paragraph (1) for a period of not to exceed 90 days upon a declaration and certification by the Secretary to Congress that a clear, compelling, and immediate need exists for such a waiver. A certification under this paragraph shall include a detailed justification for the declaration and certification, including the reasons and specific information that demonstrate that the Nation and the Coast Guard cannot respond effectively if the restrictions under paragraph (1) are not waived.

(f) Direct reporting to Secretary

Upon the transfer of the Coast Guard to the Department, the Commandant shall report directly to the Secretary without being required to report through any other official of the Department.

(g) Operation as a service in the Navy

None of the conditions and restrictions in this section shall apply when the Coast Guard operates as a service in the Navy under section 3 [1] of title 14.

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (c), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 107–296, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2135, known as the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 101 of this title and Tables.

Section 3 of title 14, referred to in subsec. (g), was redesignated section 103 of title 14 by Pub. L. 115–282, title I, § 103(b), Dec. 4, 2018, 132 Stat. 4195, and references to section 3 of title 14 deemed to refer to such redesignated section, see section 123(b)(1) of Pub. L. 115–282, set out as a References to Sections of Title 14 as Redesignated by Pub. L. 115–282 note preceding section 101 of Title 14, Coast Guard.


2018—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 115–282 struck out subsec. (h). Text read as follows: “Not later than 90 days after November 25, 2002, the Secretary, in consultation with the Commandant of the Coast Guard, shall submit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives that—

“(1) analyzes the feasibility of accelerating the rate of procurement in the Coast Guard’s Integrated Deepwater System from 20 years to 10 years;

“(2) includes an estimate of additional resources required;

“(3) describes the resulting increased capabilities;

“(4) outlines any increases in the Coast Guard’s homeland security readiness;

“(5) describes any increases in operational efficiencies; and

“(6) provides a revised asset phase-in time line.”

2014—Subsecs. (f) to (i). Pub. L. 113–284 redesignated subsecs. (g) to (i) as (f) to (h), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (f) which related to annual review.

Change of Name

Committee on Governmental Affairs of Senate changed to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of Senate, effective Jan. 4, 2005, by Senate Resolution No. 445, One Hundred Eighth Congress, Oct. 9, 2004.

Committee on Government Reform of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007.

[1]  See References in Text note below.