Legislative reform of transport of dangerous goods focuses on accident prevention

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 18.11.2021 13.35
Press release
Chemical tanks are waiting to be transported (Photo: Shutterstock)
Chemical tanks are waiting to be transported (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Government proposes that the Act on the Transport of Dangerous Goods be comprehensively reformed. The purpose is to harmonise the requirements on transport of dangerous goods by road, rail, vessel and air and to streamline legislation.  The aim of the reform is to improve the safety of transport and, in particular, to prevent possible environmental damage.

The current Act dates from 1994. It has been amended several times and the operating environment in the transport sector has changed considerably over the decades.

The reform would update the statutes to meet with the current requirements as well as clarify and harmonise the partly unclear regulation. One aim is to bring the provisions on the transport of dangerous goods better into line with the requirements imposed by the Constitution of Finland. In addition, the proposal takes full account of the international treaties and EU legislation on transport of dangerous goods.

More effective monitoring

The government proposal includes new provisions on, for example, the responsibilities of the parties to transport operations, on responsibilities, powers and qualification requirements of the authorities as well as on preparations for transport-related safety threats and safety measures.

Changes are proposed to the monitoring of the transport of dangerous goods and to the sanctions for violating the Act. In future, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency would coordinate the regulatory control.

Amendments are also proposed to the regulation on areas intended for temporary storage of dangerous goods. It is proposed that an internal emergency plan be drafted for temporary places of storage, excluding aerodromes, and a person responsible for the safety be to appointed.

What's next?

On 18 November 2021, the Government proposed to Parliament that the Act on the Transport of Dangerous Goods be reformed.

A preliminary debate will be held on the proposal in a plenary session. The timetable for the debate will be listed on Parliament's website (upcoming plenary sessions).

After the preliminary debate, the proposal will be referred to a committee. The committee will draft a report, which will then be discussed in a plenary session.

The reformed Act is expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2023.


Kimmo Kiiski, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 718 342 304, [email protected], Twitter: @KiiskiKimmo

Saara Reinimäki, Director of Automation Unit, tel. +358 40 718 342 087, [email protected], Twitter: @saarare