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Community Fisheries Control Agency

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Community Fisheries Control Agency

In 2005 the European Commission proposed the establishment of a Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA). The aim of the Agency is to organise the operational coordination of the fisheries control and inspection activities of the Member States and to help them apply the rules of the common fisheries policy (CFP).


Council Regulation (EC) No 768/2005 of 26 April 2005 establishing a Community Fisheries Control Agency and amending Regulation (EC) No 2847/93 establishing a control system applicable to the common fisheries policy [See amending act(s)].


Mission and Tasks of the Agency

The Agency is a technical and administrative body of the European Union whose mission is to:

  • coordinate control and inspection by Member States;
  • coordinate the deployment of the national means of control and inspection pooled by Member States;
  • assist Member States in reporting information on fishing activities and control and inspection activities to the Commission and interested parties;
  • assist Member States to fulfil their tasks and obligations under the rules of the CFP;
  • assist Member States and the Commission in harmonising the application of the CFP throughout the Union, in particular the specific control and inspection programmes, programmes for the control of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and international control and inspection programmes;
  • contribute to the work of Member States and the Commission on research into and development of control and inspection techniques;
  • contribute to the training of inspectors and the exchange of experience between Member States;
  • coordinate the combating of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

At the Commission's request, the Agency also performs tasks relating to the international obligations of the Union and its Member States. It assists them in their relations with third countries and international regional fisheries organisations of which the Union is a member. The Agency may also cooperate with the competent authorities of third countries in the framework of regional international organisations or bilateral fisheries agreements. It may also perform tasks on behalf of the Member States in connection with international fisheries agreements.

In addition, the Agency may provide them with contractual services, for example for the chartering and operation of inspection vessels.

Operational coordination

The Agency coordinates the implementation of the control and inspection programmes through joint deployment plans.

The joint deployment plans are drawn up by the Agency after consultation with Member States.

The Executive Director of the Agency sends the draft plan to the Member States concerned and to the Commission. If no objection to it is raised within fifteen working days, the plan is adopted. If an objection is raised, the Director refers the draft to the Commission, which may make the necessary changes with a view to its adoption.

The deployment plans apply the common criteria, benchmarks and procedures defined by the Commission in the control and inspection programmes.

They organise the deployment of the national means and the use of human and material resources in the periods and zones in which these are to be deployed.

The joint deployment plans also set the conditions under which the control and inspection means of a Member State may enter the waters of another Member State.

The Agency will undertake an annual assessment of the effectiveness of each joint deployment plan, as well as an analysis, on the basis of available evidence, of the existence of a risk that fishing activities are not compliant with applicable conservation and control measures.

With the adoption of Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy, new powers have been assigned to the Agency in order to enhance its effectiveness.

Acquisition, rental and chartering of equipment

The Agency may henceforth acquire, rent or charter the equipment that is necessary for the implementation of the joint deployment plans and control and inspection programmes.

Community inspectors

In addition to the human resources provided by Member States in the context of specific control and inspection programmes or international control and inspection programmes, official of the Agency may be assigned as Community inspectors in international waters.

Emergency unit

Of its own initiative or at the request of two Member States, the Agency may set up an emergency unit where the CFP is exposed to a serious risk which cannot be prevented by existing means.

The emergency unit shall be responsible for collecting and assessing all necessary information and identifying the options available to prevent the risk to the CFP as rapidly as possible.

Multiannual work programme

The multiannual work programme of the Agency establishes henceforth its overall objectives, mandate, tasks, performance indicators and priorities for each action of the Agency over a five-year period.

Cooperation in maritime affairs

The Agency contributes to the implementation of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy. In particular, it is responsible for concluding administrative agreements with other bodies after approval by the Administrative Board.

Internal structure and functioning

The Agency is a body of the European Union. Its seat is in Vigo (Spain).

Its staff is made up of officials temporarily seconded or posted to it and other agents recruited by the Agency in line with its needs.

The Agency has an Administrative Board which adopts the procedures required for it to perform its role. The board is made up of six representatives of the European Commission and one representative per Member State appointed on the basis of their experience.

The Administrative Board appoints the Executive Director for a term of five years, which is renewable.

The Executive Director is in charge of managing the Agency and ensuring the principles of the CFP are implemented. He adopts the Agency’s work programme and final budget for the coming year as well as the general report on the previous year.


The Agency is funded by three sources: the Community budget, payment for services provided to the Member States and income from publications, training and other services that it provides.


An independent external evaluation of the implementation of the regulation is commissioned by the administrative board within five years of the Agency taking up its responsibilities, and every five years thereafter.

This evaluation assesses the impact of the regulation and the usefulness, relevance and effectiveness of the Agency in attaining the objective of uniform application of the CFP.


Following the reform of the CFP in 2002, setting up harmonised conditions for implementing the rules has become a key feature of the CFP. This requires the creation of a permanent structure to ensure the coordination of inspection and control activities in the fisheries sector: the Community Fisheries Control Agency.

In accordance with the recommendations of the Court of Auditors (Special Report No 7/2007), the Agency’s mandate has been substantially strengthened subsequently by Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy. The aim was to strengthen the role of the Agency in control and inspection matters, in particular in the context of the joint deployment plans and the control and inspection programmes.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 768/2005



OJ L 347 of 21.5.2005.

Amendning act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009



OJ L 343 of 22.12.2009

Last updated: 27.05.2010