Expanded Area for USCG
Friday, September 24, 1999
The Clinton Administration extended the area patrolled by the USCG, widening it from 12 miles offshore to 24 miles. The extension doubles the area in which the USCG and other federal authorities may board foreign vessels. The White House noted under international law, a nation may claim a territorial sea up to 12 nautical miles from its coast, and a contiguous zone extending another 12 miles. Within the contiguous zone, a nation can act to prevent violations of its environmental, customs, fiscal, or immigration laws, or to apprehend vessels suspected of violating them.