Maritime cases and marine casualty reports

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 maritime casualty report.

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

Marine Casualty Report

A marine casualty report is filed in the cases referred to in Chapter 18.6-8 of the Maritime Code. The report should contain a detailed account of the incident/accident and everything that could be of help in determining its causes. The report should also contain a full copy of relevant notes made in the ship's log and engine room log. The marine casualty report is made by filling in a form authorized by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The report is divided into the following parts:

  • A General (p. 1-3 and 15)
  • B Grounding and/or collision (p. 4-7)
  • C Fire/explosion (p. 8)
  • D List/capsizing (p. 9)
  • E Leakage (p. 10)
  • F Engine Breakdown (p. 10)
  • G Pollution/discharge (p. 11)
  • H Injuries/poisoning/death (p.12)
  • I Evacuation of ship or use of life-saving appliances   (p. 13)
  • J Other incidents/accidents (p. 14).

In addition, any incident/accident should always be reported to Trafi's inspector on duty.

Filling in the form

The general part of the form is filled in, irrespective of type of incident/accident. Both the general part and the parts relevant to the incident/accident in question is filled in.

Make sure that you have given the following information either on the form or in attachments (i.e. excerpt from the ship's log, etc.):

  • a detailed free-form description of the incident/accident and any factors that might have influenced the course of events. The account should include information on damage to third parties, if any (quay constructions, aids to navigation, other ships, etc.)
  • the exact time and date of the incident/accident
  • exact coordinates (latitude, longitude)
  • weather conditions, also when not of direct relevance to the incident/accident
  • injuries involved should also be mentioned in Part A. If there are no injuries, this should be mentioned in Part A on page 3 (Total number of injured) or in the attached description.

Submission of the report to Trafi

The report, dated and undersigned, should be sent to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) in original as soon as possible after the incident/accident.

Customer service forms


Contact information

  • Duty officer, phone +358 203 28010, if the incident/accident has occurred in the Gulf of Finland or on inland waterways
  • Duty officer, phone +358 203 28020, if the incident/accident has occurred in the Archipelago Sea or the Gulf of Bothnia


Page updated 01/13/2017