The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications is asking the Swedish authorities for a clarification regarding the unclear maximum weight for lorries entering the country. Finland's stance is that the maximum masses should also in the future be those shared by both countries.
Sweden has recently started turning back international lorries exceeding the mass of 40 tonnes at the Danish border. According to the Swedish police this weight limit also applies to Finnish lorries.
Until now, Finnish semi trailer combinations of 48 tonnes, and full trailer and modular combinations of 60 tonnes have been allowed to drive in Sweden because they are authorised in internal traffic within both countries.
In Sweden the problems have arisen from the varying interpretations of the EU Directive on internal transport within the Community. Lately the prevailing interpretation of the Commission, too, has been that the Member States can apply the larger masses based on national legislation in traffic between the countries concerned.
However, in Sweden the national statutes founding on the Directive leave room for alternative interpretations. A court case has now led to a stricter practice that, according to the supervisory authority, limits the maximum weight to 40 tonnes in all international traffic.
Finnish statutes are clear; the weight limits in the European Economic Area or outside it are determined according to the registration country of the vehicle. Thus problems of interpretation similar to Sweden cannot occur.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is currently investigating what steps Sweden is going to take to ensure that the application of the current weight limits can continue in traffic between Sweden and Finland also in the future.
Tero Jokilehto, Director of the Transport Market Unit, +358 40 535 0574
Maria Rautavirta, Senior Engineer for Vehicles, +358 40 718 5975