Services & Tools


EMSA is uniquely positioned to contribute to broader and deeper EU coast guard cooperation due to the wide range of services it offers to Member States.

Through activities related to sustainability, with a focus on the contribution to the European green agenda for maritime transport by strengthening the EU capacity to protect the marine environment, manage climate change, and respond to new environmental challenges, EMSA is responsible for a wide range of tasks to prevent pollution by ships and respond to pollution by ships and offshore oil and gas installations. This includes a network of stand-by oil pollution response vessels and Equipment Stockpiles located strategically along the EU coastline

EMSA provides maritime surveillance services that enhance the maritime awareness of its users, through the sourcing and day-to-day operations of the Earth Observation information flow from satellites, through the provision of Automatic Identification System information detected by satellites (SAT-AIS), and by transmission of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) based information. This involves both the set-up of routine surveillance services based on requests made by maritime authorities and other coast guard agencies and the support that is provided through the EMSA contingency plan in response to maritime emergencies.

EMSA is also responsible for activities in support of the Professional Development and Training of staff from the competent authorities performing Flag, Port and Coastal State responsibilities, in the EU and beyond.

A crucial part of EMSA’s mandate are the verifications of the implementation of the EU maritime safety, protection of marine environment, and security legislation that it carries out, and the provision of tools to support the daily work of the competent Authorities. All this complements the vast array of services offered to the broader coast guard community.

Handbook on Coast Guard Functions

The concept of the Handbook was first elaborated by the European Commission in a discussion paper presented at the first Annual European Coast Guard Event (AECGE) in Spain in April 2018. Consequently, the Member States, through the governing boards of each of the agencies, nominated experts to participate in the development of the Handbook. The Handbook is comprised of the following elements:

  • Service Catalogue
  • Training Catalogue
  • Best Practice Manuals and Guidelines Catalogue
  • Regional/International/Bilateral/Multilateral Cooperation
  • Country Factsheets

The main end users of this Handbook are the national authorities for each coast guard function in each Member State. The Handbook aims to support national authorities in charge of planning and coordinating activities, who need to know and understand how their partners are organised and what services and cooperation they provide.

Maritime Data Catalogue

Data sets, including descriptions of the data sets themselves in a standardised and systemic manner, and their mapping were compiled into one document, the Maritime Data Catalogue, as a definitive product of the work of the agencies. The Catalogue and its associated datasheets are kept updated and made available to the communities of each Coast Guard Function.