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Changes at the turn of the year in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 22.12.2021 15.00 | Published in English on 30.12.2021 at 8.50
Press release

Changes to enter into force in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications as of the beginning of 2022

New act on broadband aid to enter into force, funding for the construction of fixed connections only

In future, aid can be applied for the construction of fixed broadband connections only. The act will enter into force on 3 February 2022. The Act on broadband aid, which entered into force in 2021, and the government decree issued under it have been amended to ensure that they will continue to comply with the EU rules on state aid and with the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The Budget for 2022 adopted by Parliament includes a EUR 15 million appropriation for the broadband aid scheme. It helps to achieve the aim of making high-speed broadband connections available to 30,000 households. The appropriation is part of the funding applied for from the EU recovery instrument. In total, Finland has applied for around EUR 50 million to support broadband construction. The amount of the funding in the 2021 Budget is EUR 5 million.

The regional councils will organise a competitive tendering process for the project areas to receive broadband aid. The network constructors will be selected on the basis of that process. The selected network constructor may apply for aid from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. The broadband aid scheme contributes to implement the objectives of the Government Programme and it is targeted to areas where no commercial high-speed broadband would be introduced before 2025.

Inquiries:

Aino Koskinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 342 224, [email protected] (22.-23.12.)

Maija Ahokas, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 031 6178, [email protected] (22.-23.12.)

Amendments to the act on purchase and conversion subsidies for low-emission vehicles, purchase subsidies for electric vans and trucks also included

The new act on subsidies for purchasing vehicles using alternative fuels or propulsion systems and converting a vehicle into such, payable for a fixed term, will enter into force on 1 January 2022. The current purchase subsidies for full electric passenger cars and gas-powered trucks and the conversion subsidy for passenger cars can still be applied for in 2022 and 2023. In addition, subsidies can be applied for purchasing an electric truck in 2022 and 2023 and for purchasing an electric or gas-powered van in 2022.

The new subsidies, together with the decision to continue the current ones, are part of implementing the Roadmap for Fossil-free Transport. The aim is to encourage both households and companies to move away from fossil fuels to alternative fuels and propulsion systems.

Subsidies may be granted within the limits of the appropriation reserved for this purpose. The authority responsible for granting the subsidies is the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

Inquiries:

Pinja Oksanen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 295 342 182, pinja.oksanen(at)gov.fi (22-23 December)

Tuuli Ojala, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 342 198, [email protected] (27-31 December)

Derogation from the time limit set for reporting changes in public transport services will be extended

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, a temporary derogation from the time limit set for reporting changes in public transport services was included in the Act on Transport Services. The derogation will be extended to cover the period from 1 January 2022 to 30 June 2022. Under normal conditions, transport operators must notify changes to the routes 60 days before they come into force. During the derogation period, the notification must be made within 5 days.

Inquiries:

Monika Mutanen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 478 4820, [email protected]

Changes to the training requirements for ticket inspectors

A new decree of the Ministry of Transport and Communications on the training required from ticket inspectors and security stewards assisting in the inspection will enter into force on 1 January 2022. The decree does not include provisions on the minimum amount of training lessons or on teaching methods and arrangements, as these are left for the training providers to decide. The decree lays down provisions on the possibility for students to earn, where appropriate, credits for ticket inspector training from prior studies or working life.

Inquiries:

Katja Peltola, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 530 2175, [email protected]

Support for maritime transport continues

The validity of the Government Decree on Support for Maritime Transport (548/2020) is extended until 31 May 2022. In the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Transport and Communications Agency may grant support to cargo and passenger shipping companies.

The aim of the amendment is to ensure the sufficiency of maritime transport capacity, the existence of Finnish tonnage and the restoration of confidence in maritime transport, and to help maintain the operational capacity of shipping companies as the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus will continue in 2022.

Inquiries:

Sara Vänttinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 342177, [email protected]

Halving of fairway dues continues

The decision to halve the fairway dues has been in force since 2015 and it will continue to remain in force for 2022 and 2023.

The aim is to help merchant shipping and its transport customers recover in an uncertain situation from the financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Inquiries:

Juha Tervonen, Senior Specialist, tel. 0295 342070, [email protected]

Amendments to Aviation Act enter into force

The powers of the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom as the national civil aviation safety authority will be complemented. The amendments will clarify the powers of the Transport and Communications Agency in terms of restricting the use of air traffic rights and implementing the EU Aviation Safety Regulation. In addition, the responsibility for awarding government grants to airports will be transferred from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to the Transport and Communications Agency.

Inquiries:

Sonja Töyrylä, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 438 4729, [email protected]

Press release, 23 December 2021: Act on purchase and conversion subsidies for low-emission vehicles into force
Press release, 23 December 2021: Amendments to Aviation Act enter into force
Press release, 16 December 2021: New act on broadband subsidies to enter into force, funding for the construction of fixed connections only (in Finnish)
Press release, 27 September 2021: Government proposes EUR 3.5 billion for the budget of the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (in Finnish)

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