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Contact information

Maritime specialist

  • +358 295 34 3328
  • winternavigation(at)ftia.fi

Service number (24/7) Wintertime (No SMS).

  • +358 (0) 50 471 48 50
  • winternavigation(at)ftia.fi

Winter navigation

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency 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.

Assistance restrictions

When the ice situation becomes more difficult, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency imposes assistance restrictions for the winter ports. Icebreaker assistance is given to vessels which meet the assistance restrictions issued by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency for vessels calling at the relevant port.

The restrictions enter into force five days after their date of issue, except for relaxations, which enter into force at the date of issue.

Current assistance restrictions (Baltice.org).

Preliminary information on assistance restrictions: 27.5.2024 (PDF)

Finnish ice classes and icebreaker escort, Letter Traficom 17.2.2021 (PDF)

Exemptions

In accordance with section 10(3) of the Act on the Ice Classes of Ships and Icebreaker Assistance (1121/2005), the FTIA may in individual cases, on application, grant a vessel that is sailing to a port or an area to which assistance has been restricted, the right to icebreaker assistance if:

1.    ice conditions have temporarily eased 
2.    it is a question of a special transport, urgent energy supplies or the threat of a production shut-down in a factory
3.    the vessel would otherwise be entitled to assistance, but its deadweight is not more than five (5) percent below the required deadweight; or
4.    the vessel has started its voyage already on the day when the assistance restrictions were raised and the arrival of the vessel is not considerably delayed from the point of time when the former assistance restrictions were valid.

Applications for exemptions must be sent by email to the address: [email protected]

For a decision made upon an application for exemption a charge is collected as provided in the Act on Criteria for Charges Payable to the State (150/1992).

Applications for exemption must be submitted to the FTIA at least three working days before the vessel arrives in the assistance area. The FTIA aims to process applications submitted before 12.00 noon by the end of office hours on the day of submission, and applications submitted later by the end of office hours the following day.

The PDF form that should be completed for the application can be found here:

Application for exempt (PDF)

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has updated its publication Finland's Winter Navigation 2023–2024.

This icebreaking season, all vessels arriving for the first time of the winter season to a Finnish or Swedish assistance area will be asked, in English, whether they accept and agree to follow the general instructions for icebreaking issued by the national maritime authorities.

The vessel or shipping company is advised to give its reply before the vessel arrives to the assistance area by e-mail to Turku Radio ([email protected]). The answer will affect the assistance of the vessel.

Brokers are asked to ensure that the publication Finland’s Winter Navigation 2023 – 2024 has been delivered to all vessels/shipping companies before the vessels arrive to the assistance area. Shipping companies should take the instructions into account already when drawing up charter parties.

The guide is mainly intended for deck officers and it is a maritime publication compliant with SOLAS regulations and with the provisions relating to route planning and the safe passage of the vessel under the Maritime Act. It also includes information and instructions about the special conditions in the Baltic Sea, as well as useful information for charterers and all parties working towards smooth and particularly safe winter navigation.

In order to ensure a safe and smooth flow of traffic in the entire winter navigation system, it is vital that your vessel meets the requirements and that the crew follows the instructions in Finland's Winter Navigation 2023–2024.

Winter navigation is teamwork.

Icebreaking services

Icebreaking services include the assistance of vessels in ice and the related towing.

For the provision of icebreaking services the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has signed agreements with Arctia Icebreaking Ltd, Alfons Håkans ltd and other private towing companies.

Arctia Icebreaking Ltd will answer queries related to icebreaker operations.
E-mail: [email protected]
Internet: www.arctia.fi (information on icebreakers, crew change dates, assistance area, etc.)