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Amendments to Act on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport circulated for comments

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 25.4.2024 10.57 | Published in English on 25.4.2024 at 11.05
Press release
Vene saaristossa ilmakuvassa, taustalla myös isompi alus
Photo: Shutterstock/LVM

The Ministry of Transport and Communications invites comments on the draft proposal on amendments to the Act on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport and certain related acts. The deadline for submitting comments is 20 June 2024.

The amendments would implement the Government Programme, EU regulation and regulation of the International Maritime Organization IMO.

The draft proposal includes national ship discharge prohibitions that are based on the Government Programme. Untreated discharges of sulphur scrubbers and discharges of sludge separated by scrubbers, treated sewage and greywater in Finland’s territorial waters would be prohibited. Greywater means water from showers, washing machines and kitchens.

The draft proposal would also complement the FuelMaritime Regulation concerning the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport in the EU. Finland would introduce an island exemption according to which energy used in passenger ships in the shipping routes and ports of Åland would be excluded from the scope of the Regulation. The exemption would remain in force until the end of 2029. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom would be responsible for the main official duties under the Regulation.

Ports should provide on-shore power supply as laid down in the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation of the EU (AFIR).

The amendments would allow police vessels to derogate from the requirements laid down in the act if necessary due to their structure or the special nature of their operations. A similar derogation already applies to vessels used by the Border Guard and Defence Forces. 

Amendments would implement regulation agreed in International Maritime Organization

The amendments would adopt and bring into force the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. The EU Regulation concerning the recycling of ships is already being applied in Finland, which means that the impacts of the implementation of the Convention are very small. Internationally, the Convention will enter into force on 26 June 2025. 

It is also proposed that Finland would participate in the amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) concerning e.g. the carbon intensity of ships and obligation to keep garbage record books. The carbon intensity requirements and energy requirements concerning the present vessels of the MARPOL Convention would become applicable to Finnish vessels as well. The obligation concerning garbage record books will be extended to apply to vessels of 100 gross tonnes or over, instead of vessels of 400 gross tonnes or over as it is does at present. 

The amendments would also approve the amendment to the London Protocol concerning the dumping of wastes to the sea that prohibits the dumping of sewage sludge. 

Next steps

The deadline for submitting comments is 20 June 2024. All organisations and private individuals may submit comments online at 

After the consultation process, the preparations will continue by public officials as part of their regular duties. The government proposal is to be submitted to Parliament in autumn 2024.


Laura Sarlin, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 342 063, [email protected]