Italian Chambers of Commerce
What they are
“The Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Craft and Agriculture are functionally independent public bodies that, within the territorial boundaries for which they are responsible, based on the principle of subsidiarity pursuant to article 118 of the Constitution, carry out functions of general interest for the business system, dealing with its development within the local economies.” (Legislative Decree No. 23 dated February 15, 2010, modification of Law No. 580 dated December 29, 1993)"
What they do
- Administrative activities: keeping registers, roles, lists, records, in which the main events characterising the life of any company are recorded and certified;
- Promotional activities: support for companies and for development of the local economy;
- Activities for the study, analysis and monitoring of local economy data: for a better knowledge of the socio-economic situation of companies and for companies;
- Market regulation activities: to promote and increase transparency, certainty and equity in economic relations between companies and between companies and citizens.
The Chamber of Commerce from a legal viewpoint
It is an institution
- public: in that it operates as an authority (as well, obviously, as using normal private law instruments);
- independent: its independence, which is foreseen by law, is statutory and is both regulatory, financial and administrative;
- self-sufficient: it issues administrative documents that have the same effect as those issued by the State;
- local: as it operates with a specific district, which normally coincides with a province;
- non territorial: the authority of the body does not extend to all the individuals in a given territory, unlike that of the Regional, Provincial and Municipal authorities;
- necessary: primary legislation requires them to be set up;
- non-economic: its aims do not include making a profit, and it is only able to carry out economic activities in a marginal way and in order to pursue its institutional goals;
- institutional: it provides a general representation of interests, as compared with associations that pursue the specific interests of their associates.
The Chamber System
The Italian Chamber system consists of Chambers of Commerce organized on a territorial basis, Regional Associations, branch offices, Regional Overseas Centres, Italian Overseas Chambers of Commerce, Special Companies, European Points of Information, plus more than a thousand holdings in infrastructure, companies, consortia and other organisations.
In Italy the Chamber system is represented by Unioncamere, the Italian Union for Chambers of Commerce, whilst at a European level there is the association of Chambers of Commerce Eurochambres.