The Corps of the Capitanerie di Porto - Guardia Costiera is a Corps of the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) that has tasks and functions connected mostly to the civil use of the sea and with functional dependence of various ministries that avail themselves on their work: first of all the Ministero dei Trasporti (Ministry for Transports) which has "inheritated" in the year 1994, from the Ministry of the Mercantile Navy, the major part of the functions connected to the use of the sea and the connected activities with the commercial and pleasure navigation a on whose budget weighs the costs for the running of the corps.
The principal lines of the Corps activities are the following:
Search and rescue in sea (SAR) with the entire organization of co-ordination, control, detection and communications active for 24 hours a day requested by this activity;
Safety of navigation, with systematic investigative controls on the entire national mercantile, fishing and pleasure shipping, through the activity of Port State Control, also on the foreign mercantile shipping that calling at the national ports;
Protection of the Marine Environment , with functional dependence of the Ministero dell'ambiente e della tutela del territorio (Ministry for the Environment), using for this aim also resources (operations' centers, aeronaval crafts, naval traffic control systems) already used for tasks of rescue, safety of navigation, and maritime police;
Control on maritime fishery, with functional dependence on the Ministero per le politiche argicole e forestali (Ministry of Agriculture): at this end the general command is the responsible authority of the National Fishing Control Center and the Capitanerie carry out the controls prescribed by the national and community norms on the entire fishing fleet;
Peripheral administration of State functions in the matters of formation of the maritime personnel, of registration of the mercantile and fishing shipping, of pleasure shipping, and of the contentious for those maritime crimes that have been de-penalized;
Maritime Police (namely technical-administrative maritime police, including the discipline of maritime navigation and the regulation of the events that are carried out in the maritime areas that fall under the national sovereignty, the control of the maritime traffic, the manoeuvre of the ships and the safety in the ports, inquiries on the maritime accidents, the control on the maritime State property, the testing and periodic inspections of coastal deposits and other hazardous installations.
Other functions are carried out for the Ministries of defence (enrolment of the military personnel), for Cultural Activities and Treasures (underwater archaeology), of internal affairs (anti-illegal immigration), of Justice and the department of civil protection, all having as a common denominator the sea and navigation. The broadness and the variety of activities carried out present the capitanerie as an organism of reference for the maritime activities and make of them a true "sole counter" for the relations with the seafarers. The Corps is represented in a highly specialized structure, as well under the administrative profile as under the technical-operational one, for the completing of the Public functions that are carried out in the maritime spaces of national interest. These spaces include 155000 km² of maritime waters, internal and territorial, which are in every respect part of the national territory, and other 350000 km² of waters on which Italy has exclusive rights (exploitation of the depths resources) or duties (rescue in sea and safeguard of the marine environment): a number of marine areas whose extension is almost the double of the entire national territory, which as it is known amounts to 301000 km². Following the tendency that is affirming itself in Europe, the maritime authority - coast guard must exercise an effective control in sea for the safeguard of human life, for the safety of navigation, for the correct going on of the economic activities (fishing and exploitation of the continental platform) and for the protection of the marine environment.