• 2019 June 20 10:42

    Amendments to be introduced to the Water Traffic Act

    The new Water Traffic Act will update and bring together the traffic rules and signs used in water transport, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland says in a press release. The aim of the reform is to improve maritime safety and responsible boating and to provide a favourable environment for water transport automation.

    The reform will also clarify the roles and responsibilities of the authorities in water transport and the relation between the Water Traffic Act and the Maritime Act. Primarily, the water traffic rules apply to both merchant shipping and pleasure boating, but the Maritime Act mainly lays down provisions on merchant shipping.

    Since the international regulations on people engaged in water transport are very detailed, they also form the basis for the new act. In the reform, special consideration has been paid to the provisions required by canal traffic, including the traffic on the Saimaa Canal.

    The new Water Traffic Act will enter into force on 1 June 2020.

    The reform includes a significant revision concerning the provisions on boatmasters of recreational craft.  In part, it corresponds with the provisions in the Maritime Act on professional transport but the requirements are lighter.

    In future, recreational watercraft must have a boatmaster who is responsible for the transport of the vessel and the safety of its passengers. The boatmaster is the person who in fact steers or controls the craft. So the boatmaster does not have to be the person transporting the craft.  

    If in the event of an accident, it is unclear as to who the boatmaster is, at the end the responsibilities of the master lie with the owner or registered holder of the watercraft, if they have, in fact, been able to influence the steering of the vessel. 

    The boatmaster of the watercraft is responsible for seeing to it that the passengers are wearing flotation devices whenever conditions, such as the weather or waves, so require. As a rule, the provisions on boatmaster mainly apply to all watercraft that do no fall within the sphere of the stricter provisions of the Maritime Act.

    The Act will lighten the regulation on rental boats and the sanction system will be updated. The goal of these changes is to facilitate the renting of boats and, at the same time, the sharing economy.

    The current technical and inspection requirements concerning rental boats will be waived. The rental boats with no crew will be classified as ordinary recreational craft and they will be subject to the provisions on the boatmaster of recreational craft.

    In future, only rental boats with crew on board, such as taxi boats, are categorised as professional rental boating. The stricter provisions of merchant shipping concerning boatmasters are applied to professional rental boating.

    In connection with the reform of the sanctions system, a traffic violation fee system will be introduced along the same lines as the system referred to in the new Road Traffic Act.

    However, a fee for a water traffic violation cannot be imposed, if the watercraft has not been stopped. A traffic violation fee can be issued by the Police, Border Guard or Customs. The system will replace the current fixed fine system for lesser violations, but the level of payments will remain at the present level. The reform will not change the drink driving limit.

    The new Act also includes provisions on the use of watercraft equipment, registration of watercraft, and qualification requirements for the boatmaster of a recreational vessel bigger than a recreational craft.

    The Government submitted the Water Traffic Act and certain related acts for approval and the President of the Republic approved the bill on 19 June 2019.


2019 July 19

11:31 Naval Group reports order intake growth in H1 to 3.9bn euro
11:14 Ice-breaking LNG carrier for Yamal LNG Project named NIKOLAY URVANTSEV
10:58 Minister of Transport of Malaysia visits World Maritime University
10:26 Saudi Arabia accedes to two important IMO treaties
09:55 Bunker prices are slightly down at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:50 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 19
09:33 Brent Crude futures price is up 1.91% to $63.11, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.48% to $56.12
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,130 points

2019 July 18

18:05 Future expectations for MPS Terminal 3 in the port in Tema outlined with Government delegation
17:24 PGNiG acquires interest in another gas field in the North Sea
17:18 DNV GL supports 2020 sulphur compliance with online Ship Implementation Plan
17:05 OOCL announces new Middle East / Indian Subcontinent – North Europe Service
16:35 Consortium including DEME and Jan De Nul explores pioneering high-wave offshore solar technology
16:07 Large maritime market players join hands to create high-wave offshore solar panels
15:52 State Duma makes it easier for foreign tourists to visit Russia’s Arctic
15:35 Incat Tasmania delivers new 111-metre ferry to Spain operator Naviera Armas
15:18 Hapag-Lloyd launches South-East India – Europe Express Service // IEX to start operations in October 2019
15:01 Operation ATALANTA welcomes ESPS CANARIAS
14:26 Bunker prices are slightly down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
14:00 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Selina with Ausca
13:44 PortNews Media Group's anniversary celebration photo release
13:22 Aleksey Khaidukov as President of Novoship
13:00 Global Ports Holding invites proposals for Duty Free and Travel Retail operations at Malaga, Zadar, Cagliari and Catania cruise ports
12:47 East Mining Company eyes arranging offshore transshipment of coal in Kamchatka under Tata project
12:09 Wärtsilä posts financial results for January-June 2019
11:53 Construction of LNG-powered icebreakers to be financed by NOVATEK – Vyacheslav Ruksha
11:31 RF Deputy PM Maksim Akimov set a task to begin dredging in the Gulf of Ob not later than on 1 August 2019
11:09 Port of Muuga strengthened with new ferry connection to Finland
10:48 Primorsky MRC terminal to offer fully closed transshipment of loose cargo
10:30 MAN Energy Solutions gets subsea compression FEED order from Chevron
10:09 Port of Lowestoft names new state-of-the-art pilot boat
09:56 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 18
09:50 APM Terminals Callao launches Peru’s first digital customer platform
09:34 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.17% to $63.77, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.02% to $56.79
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,064 points

2019 July 17

18:13 USCG responds to boat collision, assists 4 injured
17:55 LNG vessels to protect environment and increase container turnover at the Port of Riga
17:32 YAMAL LNG obtains certification for the new ISO 45001:2018 and confirms compliance with ISO 14001:2015
17:03 Qatargas delivers 3000th LNG cargo to Japan
16:48 Maslovoz-2 tanker left floating dock of Novorossiysk Ship Repair Yard
16:21 Krasnoye Sormovo delivers the Aleksandr Zuyev, dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59, to STLC
16:03 Safe Bulkers, Inc. announces installation and commissioning of the first scrubber on MV Martine
15:44 Germany accedes to ship recycling convention
15:27 South Africa accedes to compensation regime for hazardous and noxious cargoes
15:02 BHP to introduce low emissions LNG freight
14:02 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
13:32 McDermott awarded FEED contract for Sohar LNG bunkering project in Oman
13:15 Pilbara Ports Authority delivers a total annual throughput of 697.2 million tonnes for the 2018/19 financial year
12:39 Exports of Russian oil products from Kambarka oil tank farm resumed by river route via RPK-Vysotsk-LUKOIL-II
12:01 Aker Solutions announces Second-Quarter and Half-Year results 2019
11:51 New edition of Rules for Classification and Construction of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk published by RS
11:44 Port of Oakland’s keystone project set to be delivered in 2020
11:26 NIBULON shipyard continues forming the hull of its 140-m NIBULON MAX floating crane
11:02 The President of the European Council visits the new Port of Baku
10:40 Gasum Group reports its financial results for Q2 2019
10:30 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, July 17
10:17 AS Tallinna Sadam reports its 2019 Q2 passenger and cargo flows
09:54 Bunker prices increase at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:35 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.25% to $64.51, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.03% to $57.64
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is up to 2,011 points