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European Fisheries Control Agency

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

European Fisheries Control Agency


Council Regulation (EC) No 768/2005 establishing a Community Fisheries Control Agency and a fisheries control system



It establishes EFCA, the European Fisheries Control Agency which, prior to 2012, was known as the Community Fisheries Control Agency.

EFCA aims to:

  • organise the operational coordination of the fisheries control and inspection activities of EU countries;
  • help them apply the rules of the common fisheries policy (CFP).


EFCA mission and tasks are as follows.

  • To coordinate:
  • To assist EU countries:
    • in reporting information on fishing activities and control and inspection activities to the European Commission and other interested parties;
    • fulfil their duties under the rules of the fisheries policy.
  • To assist EU countries and the Commission:
    • in harmonising the application of the fisheries policy throughout the EU;
    • with relations with non-EU countries regarding fisheries agreements.
  • To contribute to:
    • research into and development of control and inspection techniques;
    • training inspectors and the exchange of experience between EU countries.


EFCA, which is based in Vigo, Spain, is made up of:

  • an executive director appointed for 5 years;
  • an advisory board to assist the executive director; and
  • an administrative board (consisting of a representative from each EU country and 6 Commission representatives) which, among other things, appoints the executive director.

The administrative board also commissions an independent external evaluation of the effectiveness of EFCA every 5 years.

Operational coordination

EFCA coordinates activities both on land and in EU and international waters. This is done using joint deployment plans, which are drawn up by EFCA after consultation with EU countries.

The executive director sends the draft deployment plan to the EU country concerned and to the Commission. Unless there is an objection to the plan within 15 working days (in which case it is sent to the Commission to receive the necessary changes), the plan is adopted.

From there, the deployment plans:

  • apply the control and inspection benchmarks and procedures;
  • organise the deployment of national means; and
  • set the conditions under which an EU country may enter the waters of another EU country.

The effectiveness of each joint deployment plan is assessed each year.

The EFCA coordination centre provides monitoring, surveillance and communication tools.

Additional key points

  • EFCA may acquire, rent or charter the equipment necessary for the implementation of the joint deployment plans and control and inspection programmes.
  • In addition to the human resources provided by EU countries for control and inspection programmes, EFCA staff may be assigned as EU inspectors in international waters.
  • EFCA may establish an emergency unit to collect and assess information and identify options to help support the CFP if it is exposed to a serious risk that cannot be prevented by existing means.
  • EFCA contributes to the implementation of the EU integrated maritime policy.
  • EFCA is funded from 3 sources:
    • the EU budget,
    • payment for services provided to EU countries, and
    • income from publications, training and other services that it provides.
  • EFCA is involved in various Horizon 2020 research and development projects in the fields of maritime surveillance and Earth observation techniques.


It entered into force on 10 June 2005.


In the wake of the CFP reform in 2002, harmonised conditions for implementing the rules became a key feature of the policy. The creation of a permanent structure to ensure the coordination of inspection and control activities in the fisheries sector was deemed necessary. The Community Fisheries Control Agency (later EFCA) was the result of this need.


Council Regulation (EC) No 768/2005 of 26 April 2005 establishing a Community Fisheries Control Agency and amending Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93 establishing a control system applicable to the common fisheries policy (OJ L 128, 21.5.2005, pp. 1–14)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 768/2005 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 14.01.2016