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The new Saimaa Canal lease agreement to enter into force

The new Saimaa Canal lease agreement to enter into force

News article 02.02.2012 14.40 fi sv en

The new lease agreement on the Saimaa Canal will enter into force on 17 February 2012.
The scope of application of the agreement will be expanded from goods transport to also cover passenger traffic, icebreaking, pilotage and overnight stays of pleasure crafts.

The traffic rights will be expanded, and passenger ships from third countries will also be able to use the canal.

In addition, the administration of the Saimaa Canal will be reformed. A Saimaa Canal office, to be situated in Lappeenranta, will be established under the Ministry of Transport and Communications

The Saimaa Canal Administrative Committee will be abolished, and the Saimaa Canal Commission will be established in its place. In addition, the aim is to establish a broad-based delegation for negotiations that would include, upon invitation, representatives of the authorities as well as of the inhabitants and businesses in the area of the Saimaa water system.

There will be a proposal to increase fees collected from Canal users, as the amount of lease paid by Finland to Russia will be quadrupled. The need to increase the fees amounts to some 30 per cent, in which case they would return to the level before 2002.

The payments will be determined based on the size and type of vessels and craft. As a change to the previous arrangement, it is proposed that the cheapest payment category be extended from ships in Ice Class 1A to also cover ships in Ice Class 1B.