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By No owner — last modified Feb 27, 2017 06:28 PM

 Finland - Formalities

Clearance

A yacht coming directly from (or departing Finland for) another Schengen country need not report to the passport control point nor is it required that they sail within the official channels. However, such yacht may still be subject to random checks.

Foreign yachts arriving in Finland from a non-Schengen Area country must keep to the official Customs routes, which are channels (marked on the charts) from the open sea to where there are frontier guard stations. Yachts must report to the nearest coastguard station along the channel, or, if there is no station, to the nearest Port of Entry for Customs and Immigration formalities. No other routes may be taken, nor should anyone land or come aboard before Customs clearance has been completed.

The passport control station should be alerted by radio on VHF Channel 68 (or 16 as standby), or by telephone, approximately one hour before arrival. Although passport control stations work 24 hours, it is recommended that whenever possible boats call there between 0800 and 2000. Any vessel may be intercepted by coastguard vessels when arriving in Finnish waters.

When sailing between Finland and non-Schengen country (i.e. Russia), a yacht always has to go to the passport control point and to file a Customs declaration.

All vessels entering or leaving Finnish waters must have on board a current crew list signed by the captain.

A clearance declaration is issued on completion of formalities and this must be shown to the authorities at the port of departure. Vessels from other Nordic countries are exempt from this requirement.

Immigration clearance must be done on arrival and departure.

The Frontier Guard Headquarters publish an annual brochure, "Passport Control for pleasure craft in Finland", available from Finnish consulates, or visit their website, Finish Border Control.

Last updated July 2017.

Immigration

All visitors need a valid passport.

Finland is a member of the Schengen Agreement Area. See Noonsite' Schengen page for more details on the immigration rules and a link to the Schengen Visa application form..

Last updated July 2017.

Boarder Guards (Immigration)
Tel:+358 71 872 0000

Customs

For boats built on or after 1 January 1987 and registered in a EU country, evidence has to be produced that VAT has been paid on the boat in one of the EU member states. A boat on which VAT has been paid can be used and docked in Finland without any time limits.

Residents of non-EU countries may leave their boats for the winter at a boatyard providing the boat is to be used the following season. Customs must be notified and it may be necessary to pay a deposit which is refunded when the vessel is in use again. This fee varies (around FIM 5000-10,000). If a vessel is not taken out of the country within one year of arrival, appropriate taxes and fees must be paid. A cheaper alternative is to leave the vessel in a bonded warehouse, for details contact the appropriate port authority (Hamina, Kotka, Helsinki, Hanko, Turku, Vaasa, Oulu).

In general, EU regulations apply concerning temporary importation. See EU VAT page for more information.

The following items must be declared to Customs and are subject to duties and import restrictions: drugs, firearms and ammunition, endangered species and their products, live animals and plants.

If alcohol and tobacco products are for personal use and shown to have been purchased in the EU, then there is no limit of the amount which may be brought in.

The importation of more than 250g of caviar must be accompanied by a CITES import or export permit.

Last updated July 2017.

Customs
Tel:+358 9 6141 Fax:+358 20 492 2852

Health

Lyme disease is common along the whole of the coast. Take care to check for ticks - there is no cure.

Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE virus) occurs in n Åland and in minor regions of southern Finland. It can be treated with antibiotics and  there is also preventative vaccine.

Documents

Yachts must carry their original registration document, insurance policy, a crew list signed by the skipper and ship's radio licence. One member of the crew must have a radio operator’s certificate of competence. For EU boats, proof of VAT status is also required.

Restrictions

Special permission is needed for voyages through or stops in restricted military areas. The general fairways, marked on charts, which lead through restricted areas may generally be used without permission by foreign vessels for a direct passage without stopping. Yachts must remain within these fairways unless one has special permission to leave them. A foreign vessel may only stop in a restricted area in case of emergency. Yachts may anchor for not more than 48 hours within a restricted area at special designated anchorages and moorings. Permission to stay within a restricted area or to move outside of a fairway must be applied for to the Military Area Headquarters or local coastguard authorities.

More detailed information on restricted areas can be found in the Ministry of Defence's publication "Restricted areas on the Finnish coast" (Suoja-alueet Suomen rannikolla). For latest updates on areas restricted to pleasure boat traffic refer to Navy Headquarters Tel:09 181 24311

There are numerous nature conservation areas where landing and anchoring are forbidden either all year round or during the bird breeding season (1 April-31 July). These restrictions are marked on the nautical charts and on shore. Sailing is permitted in the national parks of the Archipelago Sea, Tammisaari archipelago, eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, Bay of Bothnia, Linnansaari, Koli, Päijänne and Kolovesi. However, national park rules and regulations, including some speed limits and landing restrictions, must be observed.

The Finnish Coast Guard have the right to stop and search all pleasure boats in Finnish territorial waters. The code flag L is the stopping sign, which may be given visually or by sound.

Compulsory Equipment: According to Finnish law, approved lifejackets must be carried for everyone on board. This means that lifejackets have to be onboard but wearing them is NOT REQUIRED (although may be wise). The boat must also be fitted with a fire extinguisher, water emptying equipment, anchor and oars or sweep.

Navigation: The public has the right of free access to outdoor areas, as well as the duty to preserve and not to interfere with nature. One should not anchor close to an inhabited stretch of shore nor land without the owner's permission. Fires should not be lit ashore nor any garbage be thrown overboard.

Fishing: All fishing (except angling with handheld line or rod without a reel for casting and restrictions on the lure) requires an official licence, which may be bought from any post office or bank. Also permission must be obtained from the owner of the fishing rights. Most waters in Finland are under private ownership. Information on local fishing regulations can be obtained from tourist offices, and restrictions on fishing gear and times will be given when applying for the licence.

Holding Tanks: All Finnish flagged yachts are required to be fitted with a toilet holding tank capable of being emptied via a deck fitting at a pump-out station. Yachts flying the flags of other countries are not compelled to be fitted with such tanks. All yachts, including foreign flagged visting yachts, are forbidden to discharge sewage within Finnish territorial waters (limit of 12NM from the shore).
Finland has a variety of equipment for pumping out holding tanks. In the larger harbours electric vacuum pumps are often in the vicinity of the fuel station. These are easy to use. Smaller harbours may provide portable equipment (tank on wheels with hand pump) which have the advantage of boats being able to remain at their berths - useful in bad weather.

Local Customs

Whenever people have to wait, they usually stand in line. Do not try to go in front of the people that are queuing. In banks and post offices you will find a system of queuing tickets in use.

Finns are polite and words are taken seriously, so carefully consider what you say to someone. It is considered impolite to interrupt.

Pets

Finland accepts animals under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). Animals must have rabies vaccination certificates, issued between 30 days and 12 months previously and a current health certificate. All animals are subject to a veterinary inspection upon arrival.
For more information see www.tulli.fi
Additional information on importing pets can be obtained from
Food and Health Department
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
PO Box 232, FIN-00171, Helsinki
Fax +358 (0)9 160 3338

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marketingi
marketingi says:
Feb 23, 2017 11:47 AM

30MILES project – small ports on the eastern Gulf of Finland are developing fast.

The 30MILES international cooperation project was established to develop small ports on the eastern Gulf of Finland, and six Finnish and six Estonian small ports are participating in it. The objective of the project is to harmonise the level of services, security and convenience of use of the ports. The outcome of the 30MILES project will be a ring of quality small ports every 30 miles apart around the Gulf of Finland.
The deadline for completion of the project is May 2018.

Further information: www.merikotka.fi/30miles

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 27, 2015 02:36 PM

Posted on behalf of Sven Hegelund, s/y Njord III
As you know, camping Gaz (butane) is not so easy to get in the Baltic. I am in Turku/Åbo in Finland and the harbourmaster of the yacht harbour on the North side of river Aura, managed to get some containers delivered to Turku from Helsinki and is planning to arrange for a small storage to be kept at the harbour or nearby for the benefit of guests at the yacht harbour.

AlWil
AlWil says:
Jun 14, 2015 03:06 PM

Clearance: when clearing out of Finland to a non-EU country, eg Russia, you must provide at least 4 copies of your crew list to be stamped. If then going from Russia eg to Estonia, get at least 5 copies stamped (4 for Russian border control, 1 for Estonian border control). Finland border control is relaxed about the regulation that after clearing out you must stay within a marked channel, but they emphasise that once in Russian waters you absolutely must stay within or just outside a marked channel.
Alan Wilson, Kiitaja (in 2011)

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