The evolution of Guardia di Finanza from customs police to modern economic-financial police
The deep changes occurred after the law of the 1959 in the social, economic and legislative Italian scenario, required a more suitable structure for the Corps, such as a new strategic role for the Guardia di Finanza in protecting the economic interests of the European Union. Very important became also the struggle against the organized crime and tax evasion, as long as all commitments coming from the collaboration between the different sector Authorities.
The economic and financial background deeply changed due to the globalization and the rise of transnational crime. These changes involved not only the structure (Presidential decree n° 34 of 29 January 1999), but also the tasks and functions (Legislative decree n° 68 of 19 March 2001), of the Guardia di Finanza, recognized as Police Force with general competence in economic and financial matters, aiming at defending the national and European financial budget.
An important turning point in the history of the “yellow flames” is law n° 79 of the 3 June 2010, which follows the law n. 159 of the 23 April 1959 and allows the Guardia di Finanza to choose its Commanding General within the Corps itself and not within the National Army anymore.
Since the 1st January 2017, thanks to the legislative decree n. 177 of the 19 August 2016 and according to law n° 121 of the 1st April 1981, the Guardia di Finanza has become the only Police Force at sea, together with the port authority and coast guard. The same decree has assigned to the Guardia di Finanza the mountain rescue, the surveillance of the seas next to protected natural areas, along with border control against the illegal traffic of endangered flora and fauna, as established in the C.I.T.E.S. Convention.
In application of legislative decree n° 95 of the 29 May 2017, the tax Police School (Higher education Institute), and the tax police Units (specialized investigative departments), are now known as “Economic and Financial Police School” and “Economic and Financial Police Units”.