Safety of shipping in Finnish territorial waters and on Finnish vessels has remained high over the past few years. There were no serious maritime accidents during the first six months of the year 2017.
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The Arctic Council's Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group (PAME) established a new forum to promote the implementation of the Polar Code. The forum convened for the first time on 5 and 6 June 2017 in London. The purpose of the forum is to share the best practices for shipping in the Arctic.
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The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) will allow IOPP certificates to be decoupled from the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification to facilitate the implementation of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention on ships.
Trafi has renewed its agreements with authorised classification societies that survey ships. The new agreements and their ap-pendices entered into force on 1 January 2017. The new agree-ments delegate additional surveying and certification tasks to classification societies.
A broad range of experts met in Vantaa today to discuss the Motorways of the Sea concept in the Baltic Sea, new navigation technologies, leveraging of digitalisation and other current research in marine safety.
Four new research reports have just been published in a series on winter navigation. These publications examined the ultimate fracture toughness testing of nodular cast iron used in vessels' propulsion machinery parts, involved the development of a calculation method for ice loads affecting azimuthing thrusters, measured ship resistance in an ice channel and sought alternative methods to drilling for the measurement of the underwater parts of ice ridges and ice channels.
“The transport sector is undergoing huge changes. Digitalisation, automation, the sharing economy and new services are transforming transport markets all over the world,” said Kari Wihlman, Director General of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) at the Trafi 2016 stakeholder event at Finlandia Hall today, 14 October 2016.
The introduction of stricter regulations on the sulphur content of fuel used on the Baltic Sea since 1 January 2015 has yielded results. A report drawn up for Trafi by the Finnish Meteorological Institute reveals a marked fall in sulphur emissions in the Baltic Sea area. Since the beginning of 2015, the maximum permissible sulphur content of marine fuels has been 0.1%, whereas the previous limit was 1.0%.
One of the key responsibilities of shippers is to ensure that the verified gross mass of containers is communicated to the ship's master. Due to misdeclared information, overweight or underweight containers have been stowed in ships. This has compromised maritime safety and resulted in accidents, stacks of containers collapsing on board the vessels carrying them, loss of containers at sea, and negative impacts on the marine environment. Major differences between the declared and actual gross mass of containers have also been detected in the cargoes of vessels departing from Finland.
The Finnish Government has adopted new regulations that have transposed the European Sulphur Directive into Finnish legislation on 11 December 2014. Inspections on the sulphur content of marine fuel are consequently due to begin on board ships on 1 January 2015.
“Being a responsible actor and using information in a new way are factors that enable deregulation,” said Kari Wihlman, Director General of Trafi, at the currently ongoing State of Transport seminar in Helsinki. The new opportunities facilitated by information and new ways of leveraging the official status of the agency are already apparent in the transport system today and will increase in the future.
”Information has dramatically increased its role in society in recent years. Big data, mass data, very large data, raw data, open data, data analytics, digitisation...,” Trafi’s Information Director and Director General for Data Resources, Mia Nykopp, lists the various types of information that affect our lives. Trafi is actively involved in the 10th ITS European Congress in Helsinki, held on 16–19 June, 2014.
The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Finnish Transport Agency and the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) are requesting research institutions to apply for financing for 2015 for research projects that are promoting winter navigation.
In late 2013 Trafi revised the authorisation agreement that delegates ship survey duties that would ordinarily be the responsibility of the flag state to seven EU-recognised classification societies (EU Recognised Organisations). In the revised agreement the classification societies were entrusted with a range of additional survey and certification duties.
The Finnish Transport Safety Agency has updated its instructions that entered into force on 15 March 2013 on the application of the concept 'equivalent vessel' (TRAFI/690/03.04.01.01/2013) when processing applications for PECs. The modifications are based on the experience gained in applying the instructions and customer feedback. The modified instructions will enter into force on 1 November 2013.
A Pilotage Exemption Certificate (PEC) may, under section 7 of the Government Decree on Pilotage (246/2011), on application also be granted for a vessel which does not substantially differ in size, technical arrangements or safety management systems from the vessel for which the PEC is granted or has been granted earlier.
The revised MARPOL Annex V will enter into force on 1 January 2013, but its entry into force in Finland will be delayed. Ships sailing on international voyages should, however, also take the international regulation into account.
The National Traffic Police, the Finnish Transport Agency, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi and the Meteorological Institute want people to pay attention to wintertime traffic safety. What can be done this winter to achieve a safe and smooth flow of traffic? What can we do to avoid multiple-vehicle collisions? How can bad winter conditions be predicted? Will the railway traffic run more smoothly than in the last few years? What must ferry passengers take into account in winter?
As of 1 November 2012, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency will switch over to the new telephone numbering system jointly used by all Finnish government services. The new number for Trafi’s switchboard is 029 534 5000. When calling from abroad, please add Finland’s country code +358 and leave out the zero: +358 29 534 5000.