Minister Kyllönen: Adaptation to sulphur regulations cannot be funded from basic infrastructure maintenance

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 23.8.2012 14.27
Press release

Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen regards it as important that a functional selection of measures be found during the government budget discussions in order to adapt to the sulphur regulations for marine transport. The overall impacts of the solutions need to be thoroughly considered.

Kyllönen regards the measures supporting environmentally friendly technology as the best and most sustainable adaptation measures. She has made a proposal concerning support for environmental investments for the autumn budget discussions.

Kyllönen is especially worried about how certain measures presented in the media are connected to transport infrastructure funding.

"One presented measure was to decrease shipping route fees or to abolish them. The discussion should consider that the shipping fee income is used to fund basic infrastructure maintenance and ice-braking," stated Minister of Transport Merja Kyllönen.

From the point of view of commerce and industry, funding the adaptation from the appropriation for basic infrastructure maintenance is not a sustainable solution either.

"Infrastructure maintenance is based on customer need. Cutting the funding from infrastructure maintenance and ice-breaking would increase the transportation costs in the long term and would thus decrease the benefit received from cutting the shipping route fee. A deterioration in the condition of the transport infrastructure directly affects the safety and fluency of transportation," worried Minister Kyllönen.

"A functional transport infrastructure has a greater significance for society than the appropriation set aside for it in the government budget. There are already pressures to increase the appropriation for basic infrastructure maintenance," stated Minister Kyllönen.

The appropriation for the transport infrastructure is used to fund the maintenance of public roads, rails and waterways. Basic infrastructure maintenance ensures the functioning of transportation and travelling and the condition of the transport infrastructure.

The shipping route fee is collected from the ships conducting merchant shipping in Finnish waters. Income from the transport payment covers the maintenance and service of the infrastructure and safety equipment, as well as the government costs incurred from services for ship transportation and ice-breaking. The most significant cost items are ice-breaking and basic infrastructure maintenance.

Further information:

Ms Sarianne Hartonen, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2325