Guardia di Finanza

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Guardia di Finanza
- GdF -

CoA Guardia di Finanza.svg

Coat of arms of the Guardia di Finanza
Lineup October 5, 1774
Country ItalyItaly Italy
Type Financial police -
armed forces for border security tasks in the event of a defense
structure General Command
  • Territorial organization
  • Specialized associations
  • Maritime and airborne units
  • Training command
Strength 68,000 nominal strength
61,000 actual strength (2010)
Insinuation Ministry of Finance
Headquarters of the General Command Viale XXI Aprile 51, Rome
Nickname La Finanza ;
Le Fiamme Gialle
Patron saint Matthew
motto Nec recisa recedit
Colours Yellow-green; anthracite
march Marcia d'ordinanza GdF
mascot Gripping
General Commander of the GdF General
Giuseppe Zafarana

The Guardia di Finanza (Eng. “Finanzwache”, “Finanzwacht”, “Finanzpolizei”) is a specialized Italian police force that reports to the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Rome . It is primarily responsible for the fight against economic crime . The Guardia di Finanza is organized militarily and takes over border security tasks in the event of a defense within the framework of the armed forces . Her current relatives of around 61,000 have combatant status .


The Guardia di Finanza is a financial and customs police and as such is responsible for combating the entire spectrum of white-collar crime ( tax evasion , moonlighting , money laundering , usury , fraud , illegal gambling , counterfeiting , smuggling , drug trafficking , product piracy , copyright infringement , unfair competition , organized white collar crime , terrorist financing , etc.). A distinction must be made in this context between the general tax and customs administration ( Agenzia delle Entrate , Agenzia delle Dogane ) and the separate tax and customs investigation , which is summarized in the Guardia di Finanza . One of the main tasks is to monitor the customs border . This goes hand in hand with the tasks of general border protection . Because of the long coastline that has Guardia di Finanza a large fleet of armed patrol boats and helicopters , as well as some maritime patrol aircraft of the type ATR 42 MP. In the event of a defense, these forces can be used as an integral part of the armed forces. Together with the police and carabinieri , she can also take on general police duties following instructions from the Ministry of the Interior (which is responsible for coordinating all police forces in Italy ). The emergency number is 117.


As officially the oldest Italian police force, the Guardia di Finanza is closely interwoven with the history of the Italian nation state and its nucleus, the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont . Almost all Italian institutions are older than the Italian nation-state itself, as they have Piedmontese origins (e.g. Carabinieri , founded in Piedmont in 1814; State Police , founded in 1852; etc.) According to official reports, the Guardia di Finanza (or its Predecessor organization) on October 5, 1774 by King Viktor Amadeus III. set up as Legione Truppe Leggere ("Legion light troops ") and charged with guarding the borders, in particular with combating smuggling (customs duties were one of the most important sources of income for European countries at that time). In the 1820s, the Legione troop Leggere became involved in the general revolts against the Restoration and disbanded. Their tasks were taken over by a new armed branch of the civil customs administration ( corpo dei preposti doganali ). About a decade later, Austria gave its customs and financial guard in Lombardy and Veneto the Italian name “Guardia di Finanza”, which was also used in Italy during the Napoleonic period.

After the unification of Italy , the customs services of the other Italian states could not be easily integrated into the Piedmontese administration due to very different structures. With the existing resources, a new customs administration was set up and the Corpo delle Guardie Doganali was set up in 1862 , which is why this year can be described as the year of foundation. As early as 1881, the troop was renamed Corpo della Regia Guardia di Finanza ("Royal Financial Guard") with reference to earlier models , because other financial police tasks had already been added to the customs investigation tasks. With reference to the Legione troops Leggere , the Guardia di Finanza received the status of a militarily organized police force in 1907 and thus also took part in World War I and World War II, as well as in some colonial wars . The troops received their final name in 1946. With the abolition of the monarchy , the designation “Royal” (Financial Guard Corps) was dropped, but the Guardia di Finanza retained its military orientation despite some reform proposals from the radical party. Traditionally, the position of Comandante Generale (head of the GdF) was externally filled with a three-star general of the army. Since 2000 (in the course of the constitution of the Carabinieri as the fourth armed forces) the commanding general of the Guardia di Finanza has also had four stars and can come from within his own ranks.

Since the assumption of office of a cabinet of independent experts under Mario Monti in November 2011, the Guardia di Finanza has been carrying out more controls throughout Italy. The measured or taxed average income of Italians in 2011 was 19,250 euros. Almost half of the taxpayers, including the self-employed such as innkeepers and retailers, reportedly earned less than 15,000 euros. In 2012, reported incomes are likely to rise under the pressure of the investigation.


Office sign of the GdF in South Tyrol

The Comando Generale (High Command) of the Guardia di Finanza is based in Rome . The Comandante Generale , a lieutenant general in a special position (with a fourth functional star), reports to four areas (as of 2012):

  • Territorial organization: 6 supraregional commandos led by three-star generals based in Milan , Venice , Florence , Rome , Naples and Palermo
    • 20 regional commandos in the capitals of the Italian regions . The regional tax police units ( Nucleo Regionale di Polizia Tributaria ) as well as special units for combating organized crime and drug trafficking are directly subordinate to these commands .
    • approx. 100 provincial commandos in the provinces . They form the most important operational management level to which a varying number of company and station commands are subordinate. The commandos also lead the tax police units at provincial level ( Nucleo Provinciale di Polizia Tributaria ). Some provincial commandos also have units for mountain rescue .
    • 14 regional units at sea ( Reparto Operativo Aeronavale - ROAN) in Ancona , Bari , Cagliari , Civitavecchia , Como , Genoa , Livorno , Naples , Palermo , Pescara , Rimini , Trieste , Vibo Valentia , Venice (ocean-going and aviation units see below)
  • Special forces (Rome, three-star general):
    • Command for the Protection of Public Finances
      • Tax evasion ( Nucleo Speciale Entrate )
      • Government spending, anti-fraud ( Nucleo Speciale Spesa Pubblica e Repressione Frodi Comunitarie )
      • Anti-Corruption in Public Administration ( Nucleo Speciale Pubblica Amministrazione )
    • Command for the fight against financial and economic crime
      • Financial and economic crime (financial markets, intermediaries, money laundering, capital movements, terrorist financing) ( Nucleo Speciale Polizia Valutaria )
      • Organized crime ( SCICO - Servizio Centrale di Investigazione sulla Criminalità Organizzata )
    • Offices for special tasks
      • Support for parliamentary investigations ( Nucleo Speciale Commissioni Parlamentari d'Inchiesta )
      • Support of the data protection office ( Nucleo Speciale Privacy )
      • Computer crime (GAT / NSFT - Nucleo Speciale Frodi Telematiche )
      • Broadcasting and publishing ( Nucleo Speciale per la Radiodiffusione e l'Editoria )
      • White-collar crime (counterfeiting, competition, cartels) ( Nucleo Speciale Tutela Mercati )
    • Support (technology, logistics, administration) ( Reparto Tecnico Logistico e Amministrativo dei Reparti Speciali )
  • Recruitment, training and further education (Rome, three-star general)
    • Academy of the Guardia di Finanza in Bergamo and Rome ( Castelporziano )
    • NCO school in L'Aquila
    • Training command for teams in Bari with schools in Bari (countryside), Predazzo (mountains) and Gaeta (lake)
    • Tax Police School in Ostia
    • Special training center in Orvieto
    • Sports center in Rome-Castelporziano
    • Central recruiting center in Rome

Personnel structure

The staff of the Guardia di Finanza is divided into three career paths: officers / conductors ( higher service ), non-commissioned officers with portepee / inspectors ( upper service ), and the "masters" and men ( middle service ). The equivalent of the simple service no longer exists after the introduction of the new, superior NCO career. High school graduates can enter this new career directly, whereby a three-year course ( Bachelor ) has to be completed during the training period .

The following information on the number of employees relates to the year 2018. The three career paths are further grouped here:

Italian German number
Ufficiali Officers
Generali Generals / Conductors 132
Ufficiali Superiori High officers 1,654
Ufficiali inferiori Lower officers 1,334
Marescialli Inspectors
Marescialli Inspectors 23,287
Squad Troop
Sovrintendenti Superiors 10,227
Appuntati master 21,940
Squad Troop 1,454
2018 SUM 60,069


Below is a selection of the most important pieces of equipment:


( Servizio aereo della Guardia di Finanza ; as of 2011)

Sea vessels

In contrast to the German customs, the main focus of the seagoing units is on very fast boats (30-70 knots), mainly for daily operations, which are mainly used to combat smuggling along the long coastline. The Levriero class with 70 knots maximum speed of the fastest boats authorities in Europe. Smuggled boats that have been brought up will be transferred to the authority's inventory if they are in good condition; these are summarized in class V.1600. Also the Corrubia class, which currently has the largest number of sea-going Guardacoste , i.e. H. Patrol boats with longer periods of use have a maximum speed of 42 knots for their size of 94 tons. All larger ships are equipped with cannons.

The figures indicate how many boats of a class have been procured or are in service (in brackets, displacement in tons, maximum speed in knots and on-board weapons ; as of 2013, according to).

  • 1 training ship Giorgio Cini (54 m, 770 t, 14 kn, 2 MG)
  • 1 sailing boat (GRIFONE III, 18.5 m length, 250 m² sail area, former smuggled boat)
  • 3 Zara-class pattugliatori (51 m, 320 t, 35 kn, 30 mm cannon, 2 MG)
  • 2 Mazzei-class Pattugliatori (35 m, 116 t, 38 kn, 30 mm cannon, 1 MG; training)
  • 26 Corrubia-class Guardacoste (27 m, 94 t, 42 kn, 30 mm cannon, 2 MG)
  • 12 Guardacoste of the Bigliani class (27 m, 90 t, 43 kn, 30 mm cannon, 2 MG; others ordered)
  • 42 Guardacoste of the Meattini class (20 m, 40 t, 35 kn, 1 heavy machine gun; in retirement)
  • 13 Levriero-class vedette (16 m, 16 t, 70 kn)
  • 40 Vedette of the V.1600 class (drawn-in boats of various types, up to 70 knots)
  • 22 Vedette of the V.5000 class (16 m, 27 t, 52 kn, 1 MG)
  • 82 Vedette of the V.5500 class (12 m, 8 t, 33 kn, 1 MG; in retirement)
  • 12 Vedette of the Drago class (13 m, 7 t, 47 kn; 8 boats to Albania)
  • Numerous smaller boats
  • 56 V.2000 class (ordered)


Officer cadets in their traditional uniform. The yellow collar tabs are clearly visible.

The literal German translation of the Italian name Guardia di Finanza is "Finanzwache". The Austrian customs guard was called “Finanzwache” from 1843 to 1920, the Italian Guardia di Finanza was called Guardia Doganale from 1862 to 1881 , ie “Zollwache”. In South Tyrol , the German-speaking Guardia di Finanza is now called “Finanzpolizei”, but the term “Finanzwache” is still used.

In the vernacular and in the Italian press, the Guardia di Finanza and its relatives are also referred to as fiamme gialle or yellow flames . The reason for this is the yellow collar tabs (in the shape of a tongue of flames) on the uniforms. The latter had a light gray color until 2011, since then they have been anthracite, i.e. a little darker.

See also

Web links

Commons : Guardia di Finanza  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. April 6, 2012: Is the crisis making Italy depressive?
  2. Statistics of the number of employees of the Guardia di Finanza. Italian Ministry of Finance, accessed December 12, 2019 .
  3. Guardia di Finanza - Vedetta Velocissima Classe V.6000 Levriero
  4. GdF: La flotta navale