There are many different activities taking place in the maritime domain (e.g. transport, tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas production) that are related with certain risks (e.g. accidents, pollution, illegal fishing, illegal migration, terrorism, ecological disasters). Member States have more than 300 military and public civil authorities that perform different tasks to monitor, surveil and control these activities. These tasks are referred to as Coast Guard Functions and a list of these functions are outlined in the Comission Recommendation of 20.07.2021 establishing a "Practical Handbook" on European cooperation on coast guard functions. C(2021) 5310 final:
- Maritime safety, including vessel traffic management;
- Ship casualty and maritime assistance service;
- Fisheries inspection and control;
- Maritime border control;
- Maritime environmental protection and response;
- Prevention and suppression of trafficking and smuggling and connected maritime law enforcement;
- Maritime search and rescue;
- Maritime monitoring and surveillance;
- Maritime customs activities;
- Maritime accident and disaster response;
- Maritime, ship and port security.
EFCA has a mandate to cooperate with other Agencies, namely EMSA and Frontex, to support Member States national authorities with competences for coastguard activities.