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.

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure 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.

TRANSPORT ADMINISTRATION UNDERGOING REFORM

On 1 January 2019, the current Finnish Transport Agency will become the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.


The Finnish Transport Infrastructure 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. At the turn of the year, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi and the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority will be integrated into the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency. The communications duties of the current Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority will be incorporated into the duties of the new Finnish Transport and Communications Agency. The transport-related duties will comprise the duties of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, and certain duties to be transferred from the current Finnish Transport Agency, such as those related to transport system planning, public transport development, the Hydrographic Office and subsidies to merchant vessels. After the reform, the agencies under the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications will include the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Traffic management functions, such as Vessel Traffic Services, will be incorporated. The state-owned special assignment company Traffic Management Finland Ltd will begin its operations at the beginning of next year. The incorporation will not affect the provision of Vessel Traffic Services.

Traffic restrictions

When the ice situation becomes more difficult, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency imposes traffic restrictions for the winter ports. Icebreaker assistance is given to vessels which meet the traffic 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 traffic restrictions (Baltice.org).

Preliminary information on traffic restrictions: Icebreaking season has ended.

The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency has updated its publication Finland's Winter Navigation 2018–2019.

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 (turku.radio@fta.fi).The answer will affect the assistance of the vessel.

Brokers are asked to ensure that the publication Finland’s Winter Navigation 2018–2019 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 2018–2019.

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: icebreakers@arctia.fi
Internet: www.arctia.fi (information on icebreakers, crew change dates, assistance area, etc.)

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Page updated 17.05.2019