Third stage of the Act on Transport Services sent out for comments
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has sent bills related to the third stage of the Act on Transport Services out for comments. The deadline for comments is 19 June 2018. Due to its wide-ranging contents, the project has been carried out in three stages.
The aim of the Act is to create favourable conditions for the introduction of new technologies, digitalisation and new business concepts in the transport sector.
Once the provisions are brought into a single act, it will be easier to review the transport system as a whole. The Act will also promote the interoperability of the different parts of the transport system.
The underlying principles of the Act are market-based activities and affordable and high-quality services that are effectively produced and meet the users’ needs.
The Act aims to promote the digitalisation of the transport system, introduction of innovations and implementation of the Mobility as a Service, MaaS, thinking.
In this current, third stage of the project, the Act will be finalised. Provisions are to be laid down on professional qualifications, preparedness, opening up of postal information for development purposes, and positioning in heavy road transport and railway and rail transport. At the same time, a bill on the adoption of electronic consignment notes would also be issued.
The project on the Act on Transport Services was launched in November 2015. It implements the key projects of the Government Programme: A growth environment will be created for digital business operations and legal provisions will be improved.
Simpler methods for professional qualifications training in the transport sector
It is suggested that there would be a test-based alternative to the training option when drivers of heavy vehicles acquire professional basic qualifications. The test would measure the same skills as the training alternative.
In terms of professional qualifications in maritime transport, it is proposed that the qualifications 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 Transport Safety Agency.
Postal services data made available
The Postal Act is proposed to be amended so that postal undertakings would have to make the essential postal services data available, if the information was to be used for improving the services. The essential information would include routings, location of P.O. boxes, mail boxes and buildings, and information about which buildings, households and boxes are grouped under a certain postal code. The aim of the amendment is to increase competition within the sector and provide consumers and enterprises with better and more efficient postal services. Access to this information would also facilitate the combination of passenger and goods transport services.
Preparedness plans for big transport operators
The bill also suggests that the biggest passenger and goods transport operators draw up a preparedness plan in case of accidents or dangerous situations. The requirement would not apply to taxi or small passenger and goods transport operators. The aim of the amendment is to increase the resilience of the transport system.
Positioning obligation for professional heavy transport
It is proposed that a position data obligation be imposed on rail transport and professional heavy transport on the road. This would mean that in professional goods and passenger transport and in rail transport, the position data of the vehicle would have to be made available. The obligation would not be applied to taxis. The use of positioning will allow the utilisation of new technology, for example in improving the level crossing safety and in traffic control.
Electronic consignment notes to international road transport
In addition to the Act on Transport Services, comments are also invited on the government proposal suggesting that Finland would ratify the protocol to the international road transport agreement concerning the electronic consignment note. This would allow the use of the electronic consignment note also in international transport. It would improve the competitiveness of the Finnish transport sector and ensure smooth transport flows.
Organisations and private individuals are invited to comment the bill online at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for comments is 15 June 2018. Following the consultation round, the preparations will continue by Ministry officials.
The first and second stages of the Act on Transport Services will enter into force mainly on 1 July 2018. The bills were adopted by Parliament in April 2017 and March 2018.
The provisions on the interoperability of data and information systems entered into force already on 1 January 2018. However, the provision on acting on behalf of the customer will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
Electronic consignment notes, positioning, preparedness plans
Kirsi Miettinen, Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 40 071 9629
Laura Vilkkonen, Director-General, tel. +358 40 500 0817
Professional transport, postal sector
Elina Immonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 50 303 2686
Olli-Pekka Rantala, Director-General, tel. +358 50 344 3400