Off Soundings - Coast Guard Historical Statutes Updated: 11 September, 2016

Laws (statutes) enacted that define the U..S. Coast Guard

Home | Marine Safety | Fishing Vessel Safety | Comercial Vessel Safety | Coast Guard Historical Statutes

 

Below is an "Index" of the major stautes (1789-1971) adopted by Congrees that make up today's Coast Guard. You can download a copy of the INDEX.

You can retrieve a copy of the Statute by going to the Library of Congrees to the Statutes at Large.

First find the Volume then the page. E.g. for the first statute, find Volume 1, then page 27.

  1. 20 July 1789: An act imposing duties on tonnage (1 Stat. 27)

  2. 7 August 1789: The service, eventually to be known as the US Lighthouse Service, was established under the control of the Treasury Department (1 Stat. 53).

  3. 1 September 1789: Act for registering and clearing vessels, regulating the coasting trade, and for other purposed. (1 Stat. 55)

  4. 4 August 1790: Act to create the Revenue Cutter Service (1 Stat. 145, 175) Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to create a maritime service to enforce customs laws.Alternately known as the system of cutters, Revenue Service, and Revenue-Marine this service would officially be named the Revenue Cutter Service (12 Stat. 639) in 1863. This service was placed under the control of the Treasury Department.

  5. 18 February 1793: Act concerning the registering and recording of ship or vessels. (1 Stat. 287)

  6. 1 March 1817: Act concerning the navigation of vessels. (3 Stat. 351)

  7. 10 February 1820: Act to provide for obtaining accurate statements of the foreign commerce of the United States. (3 Stat. 541)

  8. 7 July 1838: Establish the Steamboat Inspection Service (5 Stat. 304)

  9. 14 August 1848: Congress appropriates funds to pay for life-saving equipment to be used by volunteer organizations (9 Stat. 321, 322).

  10. 30 August 1852: Reorganize Steamboat Inspection Service (10 Stat. 61).

  11. 9 October 1852: The Lighthouse Board, which administered the nation's lighthouse system until 1 July 1910, was organized. "This Board was composed of two officers of the Navy, two officers of the Engineer Corps, and two civilians of high scientific attainments whose services were at the disposal of the President, and an officer of the Navy and of the, Engineers as secretaries. It was empowered under the Secretary of the Treasury to "discharge all the administrative duties" relative to lighthouses and other aids to navigation. The Secretary of the Treasury was president of the Board, and it was authorized to elect a chairman and to divide the coast of the United States into twelve lighthouse districts, to each of which the President was to assign an army or navy officer as lighthouse inspector." (32 Stat. 112)

  12. 28 February 1871: Reorganize the Steamboat Inspection Service. (16 Stat. 440)

  13. 7 June 1872:  Establish Shipping Commissioners. (17 Stat. 262)

  14. 20 June 1874: Act to provide for the establishment of life-saving stations and house of refuge up the sea and lake coasts of the United States, and to promote the efficiency of the life-saving service. (43 Stat. 125)

  15. 18 June 1878: U.S. Life-Saving Service established as a separate agency under the control of the Treasury Department (20 Stat. 163).

  16. 5 July 1884 (23 Stat. 118) Establish Bureau of Navigation.

  17. 14 February 1903: Transfer the Bureau of Navigation and the Steamboat Inspection Service to the Department of Commerce and Labor. (32 Stat. 825, 826)

  18. 3 March 1905: Reorganize the Steamboat Inspection Service. (33 Stat. 1022)

  19. 9 June 1910: “Motorboat Act of 1910.” (36 Stat. 462)

  20. 4 March 1913: Act to create a Department of Labor. (37 Stat. 739)

  21. 28 January 1915: President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the "Act to Create the Coast Guard," an act passed by Congress on 20 January, 1915 that combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard (38 Stat. L., 800).

  22. HOUSE HEARINGS – on Act to Create the Coast Guard, 1914

  23. HOUSE REPORT – on Act to Create the Coast Guard, No. 682

  24. SENATE HEARINGS – on Act to Create the Coast Guard, 1914

  25. 4 March 1915: “Seamen’s Act”, also established number of lifesaving appliances. (38 Stat. 1164)

  26. 7 June 1918: Numbering of Vessels (40 Stat. 602)

  27. 2 March 2, 1929: Load Lines (45 Stat.. 1492)

  28. 30 June 1932: Consolidate the Bureau of Navigation and the Steamboat Inspection Service (47 Stat.. 415)

  29. 13 June 1933: Extend inspection to vessels with internal-combustion engines. (48 Stat.. 125)

  30. 27 August 1935: “Coastwise Load-Line Act” (49 STAT. 888)

  31. 27 May 1936: Established the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, BMIN.  (49 STAT. 1380)

  32. 29 June 1936: Subdivision and Load-lines for passenger vessels. (49 STAT. 1543)

  33. 30 June 1936: Bring Oceangoing Motor Vessels over 300 tons under inspection. (49 STAT. 1544)

  34. 20 June 1936: Require sprinklers on passenger vessels. (P.L. 712)

  35. 20 June 1936: Amend the “Load-Line Act.” (P.L. 720)

  36. 23 June 1936: Make tank vessel subject to inspection. (49 STAT. 1889)

  37. 25 June 1936: “Personnel Bill.” (49 STAT. 1930-1936)

  38. 1 July 1939:  Lighthouse Service became part of the Coast Guard (53 Stat. L., 1432).

  39. 17 July 1939: Officer Competency Certificates required. (53 STAT. 1049)

  40. 25 April 1940: “Motorboat Act of 1940.” (54 STAT 163)

  41. 9 October 1940: an “Act Regarding Stowage.” (54 STAT. 1023)

  42. 10 May 1956: “Small Passenger Vessel Act”, the “Ray Act” (70 STAT. 151)

  43. 4 June 1956: Authorize biennial inspection of Cargo Vessels. (PL 549, 70 Stat. 223, 224)

  44. 2 September 1958: “Federal Boating Safety Act of 1958” (PL 85-911, 72 STAT 1754)

  45. 9 September 1959: Regulation of Lifesaving and Firefighting Equipment. (73 STAT 475)

  46. 30 July 1965: Exempt Oceanographic Research Vessels from inspection. (P.L. 89-99, 79 Stat. 424)

  47. 6 November 1966: Minimum standards for Passenger Vessels, disclosure of construction details on Passenger Vessels.  (P.L. 89-777, 80 Stat. 1356)

  48. 10 August 1971: “Federal Boating Safety Act of 1971” (PL 92-75)

If can't find a copy of the above send an email to info@offsoundings.com and request by number.

 

 

Below are additional statutes adopted from 1973 to 2101.

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-65)

A bill to provide for the enlistment and commissioning of women in the Coast Guard Reserve (P.L. 93-174)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-54)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-406)

A bill to amend title 14, United States Code, to authorize the admission of additional foreign nationals to the Coast Guard Academy (P.L. 94- 94-468)

An Act to authorize the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating to lease housing facilities for Coast Guard personnel in a foreign country on a multi-year basis (P.L. 94-478)

Coast Guard Authorization Act (1977) (P.L. 95-61)

Coast Guard Authorization Act for FY 1997 (P.L. 95-308)

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 (P.L. 95-372; 92 Stat. 629)

Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 (P.L. 95-474; 92 Stat. 1471)

A bill to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal years 1980 and 1981 (P.L. 96-23)

A bill to revise the laws relating to the Coast Guard Reserve (P.L. 96-322)

A bill to facilitate increased enforcement by the Coast Guard of laws relating to the importation of controlled substances, and for other purposes (P.L. 96-350)

An act to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard for fiscal year 1981, to authorize supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 1980, and for other purposes (P.L. 96-376)

Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (P.L. 96-478; 94 Stat. 2303)

Coast Guard Authorization Act for fiscal year 1982 (P.L. 97-136; 95 Stat. 1705)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-322)

A bill to provide subsistence allowances for members of the Coast Guard officer candidate program (P.L. 97-417)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-557; 98 Stat. 2860)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-640)

Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Anti-reflagging Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-239; 101 Stat. 1778)

Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-424; 102 Stat. 1585)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-448)

A bill to revise laws related to maritime commercial instruments and liens (P.L. 100-710; 102 Stat. 4735)

A bill to direct the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to require alerting and locating equipment, including emergency position indicating radio beacons, on United States uninspected vessels, and for other purposes (P.L. 100-540)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1989 (P.L. 101-225)

Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-595; 104 Stat. 2979)

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-380; 104 Stat. 484)

Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-595; 104 Stat. 2979)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-241; 105 Stat. 2208)

Oceans Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-587; 106 Stat. 5039)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1993 (P.L. 103-206; 107 Stat. 2419)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-324)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-383; 112 Stat. 3411)

Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-295; 116 Stat. 2064)

Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-293; 118 Stat. 1028)

Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-241; 120 Stat. 516)

Complete codification of title 46, United States Code (P.L. 109-304; 120 Stat. 1485)

Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2008 (P.L. 110—280; 122 Stat. 2611)

Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-207; 124 Stat. 2243)

Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-281; 124 Stat. 2905)