null Amendments to Water Traffic Act to enter into force on 1 July

Amendments to Water Traffic Act to enter into force on 1 July

Press release 17.06.2021 13.50 fi sv en

Boats in a canal in Vääksy (Photo: Elena Noeva / Shutterstock)

On 17 June 2021, the Government proposed that the President of the Republic approve the amendments adopted by Parliament to the Water Traffic Act. The amendments aim to specify the Act and facilitate the practical monitoring of its provisions.

The comprehensive reform of the Water Traffic Act entered into force on 1 June 2020. Needs to specify the Act have emerged in connection with its practical monitoring and after entirely new types of watercraft have entered the market.

With the amendments, a provision will be added to the Act that will allow to limit or ban, for safety reasons, the access of certain watercraft to the lock canals. The ban or restriction could apply to the use of personal watercraft, for example, in older lock canals with a strong current. The provisions on marking the waterways will be specified in the Act and the temporary use of virtual safety equipment will be allowed if the weather conditions permit.

The amendments will specify the qualification and equipment requirements of recreational craft bigger than pleasure boats. derogations may be granted from the equipment requirements of certain watercraft meant for sport and leisure activities. For example, such new watercraft include motorised surfboards, which are already found in Finland and are practically impossible to use in compliance with all of the equipment requirements.

The amendments will specify the provisions on registration to provide an opportunity for submitting an electronic registration notice of a watercraft. The sanctions system in the Act will be specified in terms of speed limit and registration violations, for instance.

What next?

The next step is to submit the Water Traffic Act for approval of the President of the Republic. The Act is proposed to enter into force on 1 July 2021.


Irja Vesanen-Nikitin, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 544 9673

Katja Peltola, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 530 2175