null Extension of derogations due to the COVID-19 pandemic proposed

Extension of derogations due to the COVID-19 pandemic proposed

Press release 22.04.2021 13.58 fi sv en

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government proposes extension of the temporary derogations in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The extension would apply to the Act on Ships’ Crews, the Act on Transport Services, and the Pilotage Act.

The Government submitted its proposal to Parliament on 22 April 2021.

The purpose of the proposal is to prepare for continued COVID-19 pandemic. By extending the validity of the temporary derogations adopted earlier, the legislative amendments would ensure that maritime transport could continue and flexibility could be included in the provision of public transport services.

Even if the development of the epidemic improved in Finland, the serious situation in other parts of the world affects Finland’s maritime sector. The proposed temporary derogations are needed, considering the sector's international nature. The effectiveness of maritime transport is tightly linked with the restrictions on movement set by Finland and other countries.

The derogation on public transport services is necessary, because even in improved epidemic situation, it may take time before passengers return to using the services. In addition, the unsatisfied demand for education and training calls for flexibility in the qualification requirements for ship crew.

In addition to the measures listed above, the preparedness obligation relating to the health security of passengers would be temporarily extended. This applies to holders of a taxi licence and smaller-scale passenger transport licence as well as holders of goods traffic licence that operate in passenger transport services. 

The current derogations will remain in force until 30 June 2021. The new amendments would enter into force on 1 July 2021 and remain in force until 31 October 2021.

What next?

A preliminary debate will be held on the proposal now submitted by the Government to Parliament. The timetable for the debate will be listed on Parliament’s website (upcoming plenary sessions). After the debate, the proposal will be sent to a Parliamentary Committee.

Inquiries:

Katja Peltola, Senior Officer, tel. +358 295 342 031

Monika Mutanen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 295 342125