2/14/19 2:00 PM

Ice class regulations ensure the safety and fluency of winter traffic

Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd has made an amendment to its service terms during the validity of winter assistance restrictions.

The characteristics of ships, such as loads on structures and machinery in ice conditions, and the ability of ships to carry ice, are important for the safety of winter navigation. The ice class regulations issued by Finnish Transport and Communications Agency aim to ensure that ships engaged in trade in the Northern Baltic Sea have sufficient capability in ice to maintain safe and efficient navigation year around to Finnish ports.

The Finnish Transport Agency has laid down instructions for winter navigation in Finland in collaboration with the industry, shipping companies, seafarers, icebreakers, pilots and the vessel traffic services. All parties are aware of their responsibility for the Finnish winter navigation and strive to engage modern vessels with sufficient propulsion power and good ice-going characteristics and which are manned by competent crews for their import and export shipments.

When the ice situation becomes more difficult, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency imposes assistance restrictions for the winter ports. For safety reasons and for reasons arising from concentrating the traffic in certain areas, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency may restrict the provision of icebreaker assistance in specific areas and to specific ports.

Pilotage during the validity of the assistance restrictions

Pursuant to Section 11 of the Pilotage Act, pilots have the right to refuse from pilotage or to suspend pilotage if he/she considers that the commencement or continuation of the voyage endangers the safety of the piloted ship, its occupants, other waterborne traffic or the environment. The pilot may, on the basis of the above-mentioned grounds, refuse to pilot the vessel, if the vessel does not have an ice classification in accordance with the assistance restrictions or does not fulfill them on the basis of, for example, its draught, or does not have an exemption granted by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.

In order to receive pilotage services, a vessel that is not eligible for icebreaking assistance must present a plan for safe passage through the ice to the pilotage company Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd. This plan shall include a plan for the safe movement of the ship through the ice-covered area, taking into account the prevailing ice situation, the characteristics of the tug used for the assistance and its allowed operational area. When evaluating the plan, Finnpilot requires that the ship’s equipment necessary for the steering and energy production are fully operational when the pilotage starts, and that the hull, engine power, equipment and manning of the ship are such that safety is not jeopardized. Based on all of the above, Finnpilot evaluates the proposed plan and decides whether pilotage can be commenced in accordance with the Pilotage Act.

Please click here for Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd Service Terms >>

For more information please contact:

Ms Sanna Sonninen, Pilotage Director, Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd, sanna.sonninen@finnpilot.fi


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