The 6th Department (Navigation Safety and Security) of the Coast Guard Headquarters is the technical department of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, responsible for both administrative and functional navigation and maritime security.
The 6th Department is in charge of the development of international, EU and domestic regulation, looking after its implementation as well as addressing, planning, coordinating and controlling both the maritime cluster and the Regional Offices.
The maritime transport safety Operational Technical Department is integrated by the recently acquired sensitive theme of maritime personnel, including both technical and social issues: global competition encourages all the parts to enhance cohesion and commitment for protecting the maritime sector that has been neglected for too long.
The national shipping, therefore, can rely on a specialized and highly regarded part of the Corps, serving as a centre of excellence and reference not only in Italy, but in Europe and all over the world as well.
Officers of the Corps, in fact, occupy some of the key positions within the experts community in Europe (European Maritime Safety Agency and EC Commission's DG MOVE and DG MARE).
As a result, the 6th Department "Maritime navigation safety and security" is the technical department that ensures modern management of all the activities in the maritime sector, with specific regard of the new principle of system quality and security.
The Corps, through the 6th Department job, is integrated into the wider maritime industry and its economy, including shipping, ports and workers. Moreover, it delivers key tasks for the development of a strategic segment for the welfare of the country, within the framework of the international maritime system tasked to ensure high quality of shipping in general, to preserve the maritime environment and the related economic activities.
The safety of navigation requires the Corps to play a twofold role:
- As Flag Administration (Flag State activities), it controls, checks and issues all the security navigation documentation to the domestic mercantile and fishing fleet;
- As Landing Port Administration (Port State Control activities), it has direct control on the compliance with the established international regulations of foreign-registered vessels calling at domestic ports.
Both activities are handled by the Corps' highly specialised personnel trained at the Maritime Academy of Genoa to the highest European standards in the most recent international and domestic regulations.
As a direct result, one of the most relevant aspects of their activities is monitoring the performance of the national fleet in accordance with the c.d. Performance Index in order to ensure the Italian Maritime Authority keeps its position at the top of the World rankings of the Port State Control Systems, now in place at worldwide level.
The Italian Maritime Authority already ranks top at international level, both for its ships (keeping Italian flag units in the White List) and for the on-board activities on foreign ships landing in Italian ports (Port State Control). These results demonstrate the excellent deliveries of the Corps for the security.
Another key technical activity of the Coast Guard is the Maritime Security that now involves both port systems and ships management. This topic, identifying preventive measures against the threat of intentional illegal acts on both shipping and port facilities, is ruled by European regulations. This requires a careful and punctilious monitoring activity by the EU Commission in order to ensure full compliance by all the Member States.
In accordance with the descent domestic regulations, the Corps has been titled 'Competent National Authority' and plays a key role in the implementation of cross-border regulations, within domestic regulations. This integrates the exclusive jurisdiction of the Coast Guard in navigation and port activities security, as well as search and rescue on the sea and the protection of fishery resources and food.