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Legal Basis

Regulation (EU) 2019/473 on the European Fisheries Control Agency  (EFCA’s Founding Regulation) is in force since 14 April 2019. In the interests of clarity, EFCA’s Founding Regulation of 2005 was replaced by a codified text, which incorporates the initial Founding Regulation and subsequent amendments as listed below:

  • EFCA was established by Council Regulation (EC) No 768/2005 of 26 April 2005 and later amended by Council Regulation (EC) 1224/2009.
  • In 2016, Regulation (EU) 2016/1626 of the European Parliament and of the Council introduced a second amendment aimed at increasing European cooperation on coast guard functions, as well as to strengthen cooperation at EU and international level between EFCA, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
  • In 2024, new amendments have been introduced by Regulation (EU) 2023/2842 of the European Parliament and of the Council with landmark changes widening the mission and the activities of the Agency. In addition, as from 2024, EFCA’s Union inspectors have been given powers to conduct inspections in the Economic Exclusive Zone of EU Member States. Besides, as from 2024, the European Parliament may appoint one member and one alternate to the Administrative Board, without the right to vote.

The seat of EFCA is Vigo, Spain, as established in Article 27(4) of EFCA’s Founding Regulation.


In the wake of the 2002 Common Fisheries Policy reform, European Union governments deemed necessary to establish the Agency in an effort to  build a culture of compliance within the fisheries sector across Europe. The new permanent structure was to ensure the coordination of inspection and control activities by the Member States and to assist them to cooperate so as to comply with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. The European Fisheries Control Agency was the result of this need.

Relevant legal instruments

EFCA Legal Repository in the international dimension