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Act on Transport Services will facilitate and ensure availability of services

Act on Transport Services will facilitate and ensure availability of services

Press release 28.03.2019 14.56 fi sv en

A truck on a road, view from the car side window (Photo: Juha Tuomi, Rodeo)

The Government proposes that the President adopt the third and final stage provisions of the Act on Transport Services. The third stage of the Act will streamline transport sector qualification training and promote transport digitalisation and preparedness.

“The Act on Transport Services is a significant legislative package that will facilitate digitalisation and the introduction of new business models in the transport sector. The goal is for transport to become a comprehensive service offering users genuine flexibility and freedom of choice. In addition, the Act aims to ensure availability of services,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

“Moreover, advanced and efficient transport services are instruments by which we can achieve emissions reductions in the transport sector and meet the challenges of climate change,” says Minister Berner.

Changes to professional qualification provisions, and abolition of taxi driver’s local knowledge test

The third stage of the Act on Transport Services increases options to acquire transport sector professional qualifications. The objective is to ensure availability of transport services.

In the future, it will be possible to acquire a basic professional qualification for drivers of heavy road transport vehicles on the basis of tests. The content of the test-based qualification will be the same as that of the training option.

In maritime transport, professional qualification training will be facilitated, as general qualification and manning requirements will not be applied to vessels of rescue departments, the Police and Customs if they are using a training system approved by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency.

In line with the wishes of the taxi sector, the part of the taxi driver’s test concerning the driver’s local knowledge will be abolished. In the future, the licence holder will be responsible for ensuring that the driver has sufficient interaction and language skills as well as local knowledge of the main operating area.

Resilience and safety of transport system the goal

The Act on Transport Services expands the emergency preparedness obligation also to  cover road transport operators. The preparedness obligation has already been secured in respect of railway transport, rail and air transport.

The Act also requires the largest passenger and goods transport operators to prepare a contingency plan for accidents or dangerous situations. The requirement would not apply, however, to taxi transport operators nor to small passenger and goods transport operators.

The Government proposed the adoption of amendments to the Act on Transport Services and other related acts on 28 March 2019.

What next?

The President of the Republic is expected to adopt the amendments to the Act on Transport Services and other related acts on 29 March 2019.

The third stage of the Act on Transport Services Act is expected to enter into force, for the most part, on 1 April 2019.

The amendment on the taxi driver’s test is expected to enter into force on 1 April 2019.

The provisions on road transport professional qualifications are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2020.

In the same project, preparations were made for Finland’s accession to the UN protocol on electronic consignment notes. A legislative proposal on this was already adopted in December 2018, and the relevant regulation will enter into force on 11 April 2019.

The Act on Transport Services project was launched in November 2015. Due to its wide-ranging content, the project has been carried out in three stages. The first and second stages of the Act are already in force. The Act entered into force, for the most part, on 1 July 2018.

Inquiries:

Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director-General, tel. +358 295 34 2585, Twitter @op_rantala

Laura Vilkkonen, Director-General, tel. +358 295 34 2391, Twitter @vilkkonen

Kirsi Miettinen, Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 295 34 2570, Twitter @KMiettinen