Renewal of the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point
At the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point project in Inari, a new traffic area and a new border control building were built for the Customs and Border Inspection Station. The project was part of the Kolarctic CBC Cross-Border Cooperation programme. The project was completed in June 2023.
Raja-Jooseppi border guard station is located in the municipality of Inari, 50 km from the village of Ivalo. The station is in charge of the Raja-Jooseppi international border crossing point, which is located 7 km from the station. The control area signed to the Raja-Jooseppi station covers a 57-kilometre stretch of national border — 56.5 kilometers of land and 0.5 kilometer of water border.
The station began its operations in the fall of 1945 in an old guard building. Traffic through the border crossing point began in the 1960s. Raja-Jooseppi obtained the status of an official border crossing point on January 25, 1967 and the status of an international border crossing point on September 4, 1989. In 2019, a total of 80,800 border crossings were registered at the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point.
Project costs and funding
The Kolarctic CBC is a cross-border cooperation programme aimed at promoting the attractiveness of the region. The programme is funded by the European Union, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The ENI CBC (European Neighborhood Instrument, Cross Border Cooperation) grant funding agreement for the development of the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point, financed by the EU and Finland, was signed on 1 March 2019 between the Kolarctic CBC program and the FTIA. The budget for the development project was EUR 11.45 million, of which the grant covered EUR 10.31 million.
Border control operations at the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point were enhanced by building a new border checkpoint on the western side of the current station. The renewal improvesdthe working conditions and occupational safety of the border control staff. The introduction of new inspection systems and X-ray scanner brought more accuracy and reliability to border control. These measures ensured that the capacity of the border crossing point will be sufficient for the coming years.
The partners in the project were the FTIA, the Finnish Border Guard, Customs, Senate Properties and Fintraffic Road.
Progress of project
The grant financing agreement for the development of the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point was signed in March 2019 by the Kolarctic CBC Program Managing Authority and the FTIA. A new two-story station building was built with lane inspection canopies on both sides.
With regard to road traffic arrangements, new lanes and an inspection area were built in the area. In addition, traffic control arrangements and, for example, area lighting were implemented in the area. The border crossing area was also fenced. Renewal of the Raja-Jooseppi border crossing point was completed in June 2023.
Kolarctic Cross Border Cooperation 2014-2020 is a European Union programme for funding cooperation across the external borders of the Union.