U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security (MARSEC) Levels


The Coast Guard has a three-tiered system of Maritime Security (MARSEC) levels consistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). MARSEC Levels are designed to provide a means to easily communicate pre-planned scalable responses to increased threat levels. The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard sets MARSEC levels commensurate with the HSAS. Because of the unique nature of the maritime industry, the HSAS threat conditions and MARSEC levels will align closely, though they will not directly correlate.

MARSEC levels are set to reflect the prevailing threat environment to the marine elements of the national transportation system, including ports, vessels, facilities, and critical assets and infrastructure located on or adjacent to waters subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.

MARSEC Level 1 means the level for which minimum appropriate security measures shall be maintained at all times. MARSEC 1 generally applies when HSAS Threat Condition Green, Blue, or Yellow are set.

MARSEC Level 2 means the level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a transportation security incident. MARSEC 2 generally corresponds to HSAS Threat Condition Orange.

MARSEC Level 3 means the level for which further specific protective security measures shall be maintained for a limited period of time when a transportation security incident is probable, imminent, or has occurred, although it may not be possible to identfy the specific target. MARSEC 3 generally corresponds to HSAS Threat Condition Red.