Fairway dues to be halved and track tax removed for 2015-2017

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 15.9.2014 11.38
Press release

The Government has proposed temporary acts for reducing fairway dues and removing the track tax. The changes will be included in the 2015 budget proposal.

Fairway dues will be halved for the period 2015-2017. During the same period, no track tax will be levied on rail freight traffic.

These acts are being implemented in order to compensate for the additional costs incurred on maritime and rail traffic by the EU Sulphur Directive.

The proposed changes to fairway dues and track tax would temporarily reduce state revenues by a total of EUR 55.7 million a year. The aim of this measure is to lighten the cost burden of the business sector, particularly where industry is concerned.

The unit prices of fairway dues will be reduced, so that the emphasis will be placed on cargo vessels and top ice classes. Icebreakers providing services to the Finnish Transport Agency will not be charged any fairway dues in the future. This would be a permanent change.

Fairway due regulations concerning the Saimaa Canal and inland waterways will be further defined. Vessels would only be charged in cases where they sailed from a coastal port to a Saimaa port or vice versa.

Furthermore, there is a desire to eliminate the separate tonnage dues system, which is considered outdated and an administrative burden. The tonnage dues collected from vessels are put toward the promotion of support services for seamen and sea rescue services. In the future, these services would receive direct support from Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Ministry of Education and Culture and Ministry of the Interior budget funds. Tonnage dues would be included in the fairway dues.

A new aspect proposed for the Act on Fairway Dues is the procedure for dealing with vessels without an ice class or whose ice class has expired. In these cases, the fairway dues for such a vessel would be set for a weaker ice class.

Further information

Fairway dues, track tax: Olessia Manner, Senior Officer, tel. +358 (0)295 34 2887
Fairway due reductions: Tuomo Suvanto, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 (0)295 34 2403
Tonnage dues: Laura Eiro, Senior Adviser for International Affairs, tel. +358 (0)295 34 2668