• 2018 October 19 16:48

    Finland’s Water Transport Act aims to improve safety and increases preparedness for the future

    The Government of Finland has proposed a new Water Transport Act, which would ensure that all water transport legislation is up to date and found in one place.  According to Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, the aim of the reform is to facilitate automation as well as to increase the safety of water transport and responsible boating. The new law would also bring clarity to the roles and tasks of authorities.

    The Government proposed the enactment of the new Water Transport Act on 18 October 2018. At the same time, the current Water Transport Act and the Act on Watercraft Registration would be overturned and certain other acts would be amended.

    “The Water Transport Act is part of the Government’s deregulation project, which aims to streamline and simplify regulations in order to facilitate the everyday lives of citizens. When the currently scattered water transportation laws and regulations are put in one place as a clear entity, they will be easier to find and learn. The reform of regulation is one method for improving the safety of water transport. The Water Transport Act will also help us prepare for the future and for the wider spread of automation,” states Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

    The proposal includes new regulation concerning the master of a pleasure craft. This regulation would first and foremost affect recreational boating. It would correspond, in part, with regulations in the Maritime Act concerning commercial transport, but its requirements would be less strict.  Regulations concerning the master of the boat are needed to guarantee the safety of persons on board a boat, the easier monitoring of water traffic, and the facilitation of automation.

    According to the proposal, the master of a boat would be the driver, user or another person, who in practice steers or is in command of the boat. Boats could also be steered via remote control. The proposal does not include a requirement for the use of flotation devices, such as safety jackets, in all situations. The master of the boat would be responsible for seeing to it that the persons travelling in the boat are wearing flotation devices when conditions, such as the weather or waves, so require. 

    The proposal includes the suggestion that regulations related to rental boats be eased and the sanctions system be brought up to date. The objective of these changes would be to facilitate the renting of boats and a sharing economy. The proposal includes a suggestion that all inspection and equipment requirements for rental boats be dropped completely. In the future, rental boats would only include rental boats with crew on board, such as taxi boats.

    The proposed reform would see the sanctions system be brought up to date, and, in connection with this, a traffic penalty fee system, which has the same broad outlines as the system planned for implementation in road traffic, would be introduced. However, a traffic penalty fee could not be imposed without stopping the boat. A traffic penalty fee could be issued by the Police the Finnish Border Guard or Finnish Customs. The new system would replace the current system of fines for lesser offences. The reform would not include the revision of the drink driving limit.

    A preliminary debate will be held on the proposal now submitted by the Government to Parliament. The timetable for the debate will be listed on the Parliament’s website (upcoming plenary sessions).

    After the preliminary debate, the proposal will be taken to a Parliamentary Committee. After the Committee submits a report, the process will continue in a plenary session.

    The Act is scheduled to enter into force on 1 June 2020.


2019 January 23

18:27 Planning for 2020 IMO's sulphur cap has already started
18:13 Eagle Bulk receives commitment for a new credit facility totaling $208 million
18:02 Port of Gdansk (Poland) throughput in 2018 totaled 49.03 million tonnes, up 20.7% Y-o-Y
17:40 Andrei Malyarov elected as Chairman of Severnaya Verf shipyard's BoD
17:19 RWE files acquisition of renewables businesses of E.ON and innogy with European Commission
17:03 The Board of Directors of Fincantieri appoints a second General Manager
16:51 Ice restrictions at the port of Arkhangelsk come into effect on February 15
16:37 USCG interdicts smuggling boat with convicted criminals aboard off Florida
16:24 Regulatory issues related to operation of seaport infrastructure facilities to be discussed at the 2nd HES and Dredging Congress
16:08 First discharge of LPG from Ichthys LNG Project in Japan carried by “K” LINE’s VLGC “GRACE RIVER”
16:03 CMA CGM to launch its Med Pendulum Service (MPS)
15:46 Ice restrictions at the port of Vyborg (Leningrad Region) come into effect on February 6
15:33 Nakilat – Keppel welcomes first FSRU at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
15:28 MHI Vestas achieves final turbine installation at Horns Reef 3
15:18 Rolls-Royce completes €57 million upgrade of Rauma thruster facility
15:03 NYK announces delivery of new coal carrier for Hokkaido Electric Power
14:33 Port of Oakland reports more ships than ever plugging into grid
14:20 Throughput of Port Vysotsky up 10.7% to 7.89 million tonnes in 2018
14:03 Kiel welcomes the TUI Cruises newbuilding
13:45 Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard lays down large freezing trawler of Project СТ-192
13:27 Coast Guard’s only heavy icebreaker arrives at Antarctica
13:02 Rotterdam as a circular hub for the raw materials transition
12:58 The Russian Federation accedes to passenger compensation treaty
12:51 New initiatives to strengthen Singapore as a global maritime hub announced
12:37 SCHOTTEL presents new mechanical hybrid propulsion solution
12:04 Port of Riga cooperates with Balarusian forest industry to further increase its timber cargo volumes
11:42 15 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 22-23
11:16 OSG exercises option for second 204,000 barrel barge at Gunderson Marine
10:55 Maritime Security & Offshore Patrol Week 2019 to be held for the first time ever in Dubai, UAE by IQPC Middle East
10:37 N-KOM welcomes first FSRU at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard
10:20 Responsibilities for implementation of state programmes of the Russian Federation divided between Deputy Prime Ministers
10:06 Brent Crude futures price up 0.03% to $61.52, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.02% to $53.03
09:48 Aderco: Planning for 2020 has already started
09:43 Vympel Shipyard lays down yet another hydrographic vessel / buoy tender of Project 19910 for RF Navy
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,036 points

2019 January 22

18:25 Elengy prepares the sale of access capacities to the Fos Tonkin LNG terminal for the period 2021-2030
18:05 Monjasa steps up as the 2nd largest local bunker supplier in the Panama Canal in 2018
17:54 Relampago practices skills with UAE Navy ship
17:35 CalMac takes over the tiller at Argyll Ferries
17:05 NYK gets the highest-rated ‘A’ for Climate Change by CDP Survey
16:42 RF Government proposed candidates to Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port's BoD
16:23 Pilbara Ports Authority achieves a new record tonnage on a single tide at the Port of Port Hedland
15:56 Port of Rotterdam Authority and Rotterdam Port Promotion Council renew collaboration
15:46 ICTSI Subic hits milestone 200,000th TEU move
15:44 Growth seen in several sectors at ABP South Wales
15:28 KONTUR SPb ERT unit’s drills get thumbs up from Rosmorrechflot’s certification commission
15:22 First ship viaVerbrugge Terminals’ new permanent shipping line with South America docks in North Sea Port
15:00 Meyer Turku delivers New Mein Schiff 2 to TUI Cruises in Kiel
14:41 Jotun looks into expansion of ship coatings production in Russia
14:32 HHLA completes expansion of the container rail terminal Burchardkai
14:19 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
14:02 North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation opens the Port of Mackay for new bulk material trades
13:32 China Navigation to acquire the bulk shipping activities of Hamburg Süd
13:22 14 crewmembers of gas carriers which caught fire in the Kerch Strait confirmed dead, five missing
13:15 Fincantieri to build LCS 31 for US Navy
12:53 Gdynia, Poland to host Transport Week 2019 on March 5-7
12:31 MOL moves to establish 'Asahi MOL Tankers' for pool operation of MR Product Tankers
12:14 DFDS expands cooperation with Turkish Ekol Logistics
11:45 ABP invests £2.2 million in new agribulk terminal at Port of Ayr
11:17 BIMCO: only international action will stop increase in piracy