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(Reference Office: D.G.IT. – DESK III)

The consular authorities are vested with the same powers and functions that are carried out in Italy by the maritime authorities (maritime directorate, office in charge of the maritime area, harbour master’s office, office in charge of the maritime department, etc.) and refer to a series of administrative and navigational police powers in respect of national vessels abroad and the seafarers working on them, as established by the Maritime Code and its Implementing Regulations, by current maritime legislation and by international conventions and agreements ratified by Italy or to which Italy has adhered.

These powers may be generally summarised as follows:

  • supervision of navigation and national maritime traffic abroad;
  • release of shipments for ships flying the Italian flag in foreign ports;
  • embarkation/disembarkation of maritime personnel on Italian ships;
  • “endorsement” of IMO-STCW-’95 certificates to deck and engineer officers and GMDSS radio operators of third countries with which Italy has signed specific bilateral recognition agreements for the purpose of embarkation on ships flying the Italian flag;
  • repatriations of seafarers;
  • fulfilment of procedures relating to the administrative regime of ships (fitting-out and decommissioning of Italian ships abroad; nationalisation of foreign ships; deflagging and reflagging of Italian ships; naval publicity for acts of incorporation, transfer and extinction of ownership and other property rights, rights in rem and warranty rights);
  • issuing of temporary pass and log books;
  • fulfilment of procedures relating to the civil status documents completed on board and to disappearance at sea;
  • – issuing/renewal/extension of safety certificates;
  • investigative functions for cursory enquiries relating to maritime casualties and injuries to seafarers;
  • checks and investigations on reports of extraordinary events submitted by the ship’s command;
  • disciplinary powers with regard to seafarers aboard Italian ships and judicial police powers.

Administrative Handbook of maritime navigation for use by consular offices and shipowners

The Administrative Handbook of maritime navigations for use by consular offices and shipowners is a work tool that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) has drawn up with the contribution of the Ministries for Economic Development, Infrastructure and Transport, Health, as well as the General Command of the Port Authority Corps, and the Italian Shipowners’ Confederation. The handbook, which is meant not only for the staff of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation serving abroad, but also for maritime users who make use of these services, has been drafted to gather all useful information on navigation in the form of a practical and dynamic guide, designed to provide concrete responses to the many particularly complex cases that characterise the international maritime traffic.

Operational Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport – General Command of the Port Authority Corps – on the issue of safety certificates for merchant and passenger ships operating abroad

The Operational Memorandum of Understanding stipulated on the occasion of the presentation of the “Administrative Handbook of Maritime Navigation” is intended to streamline and simplify the procedures for issuing international safety certificates for Italian merchant and passenger ships operating abroad, so that they may alternatively be issued also by the Port Authorities, with respect to the powers held by Consular Offices.