Finnish Transport Agency Issues Winter Navigation Guidelines
The Finnish Transport Agency (FTA), which will become the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) on 1 January 2019, has issued updated instructions for winter navigation.
The instructions for winter navigation have been created in collaboration with the industry, shipping companies, charterers, vessels, icebreakers, pilots and vessel traffic services.
In accordance with Finland’s maritime strategy 2014–2022, the objective of these instructions is to ensure smooth, economically viable and internationally competitive Finnish foreign trade and domestic waterborne transport with short waiting times during the winter season.
FTA is tasked with public office duties and the procurement associated with the assistance of winter navigation as well with the national coordination, development and guidance thereof.
The Agency makes decisions concerning the assistance period for winter navigation, exemptions and traffic restrictions. The objective is to cost-effectively guarantee that Finnish merchant shipping runs safely and smoothly in ice conditions.
On 1 January 2019, the current Finnish Transport Agency will become the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. This agency will be responsible for the state-owned road and railway network, for the waterways and their development, and for land use coordination.
From the beginning of next year, the Winter Navigation Unit will be part of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. The contact information will remain unchanged.