Maritime cases
 

Maritime cases

The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) is the competent authority referred to in the Ship Safety Control Act. Trafi oversees compliance with the provisions on the safety of ships and is responsible for inspections, notifications and the provision and exchange of information required under the PSC Directive and the Inspection Directive.

Trafi's officials oversee maritime safety in general and the observance of good seamanship. This involves acting as maritime experts in maritime courts when maritime declarations are given and, whenever necessary, in other criminal and civil cases that maritime courts deal with.

Maritime courts

Maritime courts deal with cases to which the Maritime Code (674/1994) and other maritime legislation apply.

The courts of first instance that are competent in maritime cases are listed in the Maritime Code. They are:

  • Within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Turku: the District Court of the Åland Islands in Mariehamn and the District Court of Varsinais-Suomi in Turku
  • Within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Vaasa: the District Court of Ostrobothnia in Vaasa
  • Within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Eastern Finland: the District Court of Etelä-Savo in Savonlinna
  • Within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Helsinki: the District Court of Helsinki
  • Within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Rovaniemi: the District Court of Oulu

Maritime declarations

Maritime declarations are given at maritime courts as provided in the Maritime Code. Masters of Finnish ships shall give a maritime declaration whenever:

  • during ship operations while the ship was at sea, somebody has died or been severely injured or this can be assumed to have happened;
  • in other cases, during ship operations, somebody engaged on board the ship or carried on board has died or been severely injured or this can be assumed to have happened;
  • somebody has died on board ship;
  • a severe instance of poisoning has occurred or may be assumed to have occurred on board ship;
  • there has been a collision with another ship or a grounding;
  • the ship has been abandoned at sea;
  • during ship operations, severe damage has been or has presumably been caused to the ship, or while the ship was at sea, damage has been caused to property outside the ship; or
  • a severe fire, explosion or shifting of cargo has occurred on board.

Masters of Finnish ships must also give a maritime declaration following a maritime incident

  • whenever Trafi so decides
  • at the request of the master or the owner
  • at the request of the cargo owner or the cargo underwriter if damage has been caused to the cargo.

If the Agency orders that a maritime declaration must be given or a cargo owner or cargo underwriter requests one, the master or owner must be notified. According to law, one of the two must give a report preceding maritime declaration.

The purpose of maritime declarations is to fully identify all circumstances and actions leading to incidents and to compile all related documentation.

The report preceding the maritime declaration shall be sent to the following address:

 

Finnish Transport Safety Agency
Registrar's Office
PO Box 320
FI-00101 Helsinki

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Page updated 09/19/2017