The crew changes and the seamen’s permission to go ashore during the restriction of crossborder traffic

1. Government’s decisions SM/2020/26 ja SM/2020/27
2. FBG HQ letter 3.4.2020; RVL2012459

Due to the threat to public health, the cross-border traffic has been restricted in Finland for the period of 19.3.2020 - 13.5.2020. Passenger and individual travelling to Finland has
been restricted, except for the Finnish citizens or Finnish residents returning to Finland and the EU citizens (ETA/CH) returning to their home country via Finland. In addition, goods traffic and essential travel is permitted. More information can be found from:

Seamen’s crew change is seen as essential travel and is permitted. During the transfers, crowds and close contacts shall be avoided (including as uninterrupted transfer as possible from/to the airport, avoiding public transport where possible). Visa requirements are in force for those nationalities requiring visa.

The seamen’s right to go ashore has been regulated in the EU regulation 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code) annex VII point 3. In Finland, this recommendation (can be allowed) has been implemented in the Aliens act (301/2004) 44 §. The possibility for the seaman to go ashore is a relief from the normal entry requirements (inter alia no travel document needed) in the area where the port is located, provided that the seaman leaves the country with the ship.

With the government’s decisions traffic has been restricted due to the public health reasons as follows:

Ports of Helsinki, Långnäs, Turku and Vaasa only cargo traffic, returns of Finnish citizens and persons residing in Finland or in other EU-country and other necessary traffic. Ports of Eckerö, Eurajoki, Färjsundet, Förby, Hamina, Hanko, Haukiputaa, Inkoo, Kalajoki, Kaskiset, Kemi, Kemiö, Kirkkonummi, Kokkola, Kotka, Kristiinankaupunki, Lappeenranta, Loviisa, Maarianhamina, Merikarvia, Naantali, Nuijamaa, Oulu, Paraiset, Pernaja, Pietarsaari, Pohja, Pori, Porvoo, Raahe, Rauma, Salo, Sipoo, Taalintehdas, Tammisaari, Tornio and Uusikaupunki: only cargo traffic.

During the restrictions, going ashore is not allowed unless it is for a necessary reason. This necessary reason would be for example to visit a doctor or a pharmacy. Work and movement in the port area are permitted under the rules of the port operator. Leaving the port area (border crossing point) requires a necessary reason mentioned above.

When arriving to Finland, transport and logistics personnel who are Finnish citizens or permanent residents of Finland have prepared instructions from the Finnish institute for
health and welfare regarding the activities during work and rest periods to reduce the risk of infection.

This document replaces the 2. reference document.

Rajavartiolaitoksen esikunta
PL 3 (Vilhonvuorenkatu 6), 00131 HELSINKI
Puhelin 0295 421 000, Faksi 0295 411 500

Staben för gränsbevakningsväsendet
PB 3 (Vilhelmsbergsgatan 6), 00131 HELSINGFORS
Telefon 0295 421 000, Fax 0295 411 500

Ministry of the Interior
Headquarters of the Finnish Border Guard
P.O. Box 3 (Vilhonvuorenkatu 6), FI-00131 HELSINKI
Phone +358 (0)295 421 000, Fax +358 (0)295 411 500

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