Port of Helsinki Harbour Regulations
1. General regulations
The Port of Helsinki Ltd (hereinafter referred to as the Port of Helsinki) is the Port Authority of the ports located in the City of Helsinki and a limited liability company engaged in port operations. The port areas managed by the Port of Helsinki must adhere to these harbour regulations and, in addition, to the instructions and regulations issued at any time by the Port of Helsinki as well as to any permit decrees that bind it. The Port of Helsinki monitors compliance with these harbour regulations.
These harbour regulations are valid in all Port of Helsinki port areas. The land and water areas of the Port of Helsinki are marked on the maps attached to these harbour regulations. By entering the land or water areas of the Port of Helsinki or using the services of the Port of Helsinki, such as any access routes, ponds, harbour berths and piers, the operator agrees to comply with these harbour regulations and other valid laws, permits, instructions and regulations.
Enterprises operating in land and water areas of the Port of Helsinki shall comply with the regulations on valid environmental permits in the Port of Helsinki and the separate regulations issued by the Port of Helsinki on the basis of the environmental permit conditions and official regulations in all their operations. Enterprises must also allow the Port of Helsinki to carry out inspections required by environmental permits on premises, machinery and equipment in the Port of Helsinki.
Enterprises shall deliver to the Port of Helsinki, free of charge, any information required by the Port so that it can adhere to its permit conditions, and participate in investigations required by the permit conditions in so far as the investigations concern the operations of the enterprise in question in the port area.
The Port of Helsinki publishes the current instructions and regulations and the price list valid at any given time on its website at www.portofhelsinki.fi.
2. Notices to the Port of Helsinki
Vessel notifications and berths
An advance notification of any vessel arriving at the port shall be submitted to the Port of Helsinki no later than 24 hours before the vessel reaches the port; or at the latest as soon as the vessel leaves its previous port of call in case of a crossing that is less than 24 hours in duration; or if the next port of call is not known or has changed during the crossing, as soon as this information becomes available.
The notification shall include at least the vessel’s name, anticipated time of arrival and port of departure, the quantity and quality of the cargo and the desired berth.
A notification of the arrival and departure of the vessel shall be submitted to the Port of Helsinki immediately after the arrival and departure of the vessel, unless otherwise agreed. This notification shall contain information concerning goods unloaded and loaded and the numbers of passengers embarking and disembarking. The master or agent of the vessel shall similarly submit any other information required for the charging of port fees by the Port of Helsinki.
The timetable of a liner traffic passenger ship and any changes thereto shall be notified in good time. Operations can only be started after the Port of Helsinki has approved the timetable and designated the berth and terminal to be used for the operation. As a rule, liner passenger traffic timetables and berths will be confirmed annually by the Port of Helsinki and, if necessary, amended by the Port of Helsinki.
A tugboat operating in and from a port and vessels used for other similar commercial operations shall be notified to the Port of Helsinki and the berth shall be agreed with the Port of Helsinki before the start of operations.
If the vessel is arriving from any area where a generally dangerous contagious disease is present or if a person or animal on board the vessel has fallen ill during the crossing with any disease that is dangerous to the public, suspected to be contagious or is unknown, notice of this must be given in good time to the Port of Helsinki, and advice from the Port must be awaited before entering the port. In such cases, no animals may be unloaded from the vessel without the permission of the city veterinarian or another competent veterinary health authority, and the handling of the animals must carefully comply with regulations issued by the authorities and instructions issued by the Port of Helsinki.
Cargo, passenger and crew notifications
The master or agent of the vessel as well as any other carrier shall notify, on their own initiative, the Port of Helsinki of any information required for charging the fees charged by the Port of Helsinki and for ensuring the health and safety of the areas, traffic, operations and persons moving within the port. The notification shall, where applicable, concern the condition of the vessel or its cargo, passengers and crew.
Notifications concerning other than shipped goods
The carrier and operator handling or storing goods in the port area shall notify the Port of Helsinki of any information required for charging the fees charged by the Port of Helsinki and for ensuring the health and safety of the areas, traffic, operations and persons moving within the port. For the purposes of field control, invoicing and activity monitoring, the obligation to provide information also applies to goods that have not been imported or exported on board ships.
Format of notices
The notifications shall be made by electronic means in accordance with the standard required by the Port of Helsinki by using the national vessel traffic information system (PortNet or similar) or in another separately agreed manner. Notifications related to land traffic and gate operations shall be made separately by electronic means in a manner agreed with the Port of Helsinki, primarily using the SmartPort standard means of communication.
3. Arrival at port and berthing of vessels
The speed of the vessel in the port’s water area shall be adjusted so that it does not cause damage, inconvenience or danger. Speed limits are indicated with waterway traffic signs. A vessel in need of pilotage must request a pilot from an enterprise or organisation providing official pilotage services.
The vessel shall be moored or anchored in the location indicated by the Port of Helsinki, and it may not be moved to another location without the Port’s permission. In the area of the Port of Helsinki, activities related to the manoeuvring of a vessel, in which a person acts as a master’s counsellor and navigation expert, may also be carried out by persons approved for the task by the Port of Helsinki.
The master of the vessel shall verify the current depth at the vessel’s location.
The vessel must be moored in such a way that damage to the quay and its equipment is avoided. Tug assistance shall be used when mooring and unmooring the vessel, if necessary. The Port of Helsinki may also order the vessel to use tug assistance and/or a pilot.
A port service provider approved by the Port of Helsinki in accordance with the current Port Services Regulation shall be used for mooring and unmooring using ropes or cables. The contact details of the mooring and unmooring operators are given on the Port of Helsinki website. Mooring and unmooring a vessel independently is only permitted with permission and conditions issued separately by the Port of Helsinki. The Port of Helsinki Ltd may provide temporary mooring and unmooring services in exceptional situations at its own discretion.
The Port of Helsinki may, if necessary to protect structures, prohibit or restrict the use of vessels, such as the use of a propeller, and order the vessel to use tug assistance. The use of anchors near quays is prohibited without a permit issued by the Port, excluding emergency situations. A sufficient number of fenders must be deployed while alongside.
Gangways and accommodation ladders shall be fitted with handrails and protective netting and illuminated during the hours of darkness. Gangways and accommodation ladders shall be attached so that they do not cause any disturbance, damage or danger to port structures or people, machinery and equipment operating on port structures. Equipment extending beyond the vessel shall not prevent operations on the quay or at sea.
If a vessel, while at the berth, performs measures that may cause inconvenience, danger or damage, these measures shall be authorised in advance by the Port of Helsinki.
If necessary, the vessel shall be moved to a location designated by the Port of Helsinki by order of the Port of Helsinki. A ship that has not been laid up must have a sufficient number of crew to manoeuvre it. The Port of Helsinki may grant an exemption from this.
A laid-up vessel may only be placed in the port with permission from the Port of Helsinki and subject to conditions laid down by the port.
The owner or holder of an unauthorised vessel shall, on order of the Port of Helsinki, remove their vessel and compensate for any damage caused by unauthorised placement to the Port of Helsinki or a third party.
A vessel shall connect to the onshore power system and receive onshore electricity if onshore electricity is available in the berth and the vessel is able to receive it.
4. Unloading, loading and warehousing in the port
Provisions on goods
When unloading and loading goods, it must be ensured that the quay structures and other port facilities or equipment are not damaged. A mobile crane may be driven to a quay only after it has been made sure that the quay will hold the weight and only after permission has been obtained from the Port of Helsinki.
During loading or unloading operations, goods or cargo units may not be placed in the way of port cranes, on the quay, access routes or their surrounding protective zones, corridors, in front of warehouse doors, on top of fire hydrants, in front of life-saving appliances or switchboards or anywhere where they may obstruct traffic or the use of this equipment.
Cargo-handling machinery must be equipped with warning lights and marked with the name or logo of the owner and an identification number. The owner’s logo shall also be marked on other stevedoring equipment. Stevedoring equipment and cargo-handling machinery must not be stored in the quay area.
Liquid fuels shall also be loaded onto and unloaded from tankers in accordance with the provisions of the Port of Helsinki. Access to the unloading and loading area shall, where appropriate, be restricted by signs, booms or other equivalent means.
If vermin or organisms or animals classified as vermin are found in the cargo of a vessel, unloading must be interrupted immediately. It is the duty of the master of the vessel to report this to the Port of Helsinki and to await their advice before continuing the unloading.
Goods, means of transport, packaging equipment or any other equipment or items may not be placed in such a way as to impede or possibly impede traffic or the use of rescue or extinguishing equipment. Storage shall only be permitted in areas specifically designated for it, temporarily and only for cargo and transport units waiting for loading on board or transport from the port by land. Any storage exceeding 60 days shall be separately agreed with the Port of Helsinki.
Goods which, as a result of leakage, odour or other reason, cause or may cause harm or damage to the Port of Helsinki or other users of the Port shall be removed from the Port or placed in a location designated by the Port without delay by the consignor. If the handler of the goods does not move the harmful goods, the Port of Helsinki shall have the right to do so at the expense of the consignor.
Explosives, radioactive substances and other substances classified as dangerous shall not be imported, transported or stored in the areas of the Port of Helsinki without being permitted by law or decree and authorised on the basis thereof, nor without a separate and prior authorisation of the Port of Helsinki. For goods classified as dangerous, an advance notification shall be given to the Port of Helsinki 24 hours before such a consignment is brought into the port area, unless otherwise agreed.
Goods classified as dangerous refers to substances specified in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID). In addition to this, the transport, temporary storage and other handling of explosives, radioactive substances and other substances classified as dangerous shall be subject to strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
When unloading and loading dangerous goods, the master of the ship or the consignor shall arrange, at their expense, adequate security for the consignment of goods and take other necessary safety and security measures, if instructed by the Port of Helsinki. The enterprise responsible for the handling of goods shall ensure that unauthorised persons are not able to enter the unloading and loading area.
Unloading and loading of dangerous goods shall be subject to the condition that, with the exception of bulk goods, they are marked and packaged in accordance with the provisions on the transport of dangerous goods. Dangerous goods and waste may only be stored in warehouses and field areas approved and designated for this purpose.
If dangerous goods are not labelled or packaged as described above, the Port of Helsinki may forbid their unloading from the vessel or their transport by land to the port area for loading, or undertake other safety measures.
Loading and unloading of passengers and vehicles
The Port of Helsinki shall provide the ramp and bridge structures necessary for the loading of passengers and vehicles for the use of shipping companies for unloading and loading, unless otherwise agreed separately. The Port of Helsinki shall be responsible for ensuring that the structures and equipment designated and supplied by it comply with the regulations and can be used safely. The shipping company shall provide the Port with the necessary information on the vessels for the implementation and use of ramp and bridge structures in good time before the planned start of operations.
The shipping company shall be responsible for the actual embarking and disembarking of passengers and the unloading and loading of vehicles and for the safety of their loading and unloading operations, both for all persons working in the area and for passengers. The shipping company must use the port structures and equipment carefully and safely, ensure the appropriate attachment of all structures and safety devices, such as safety nets, and ensure the safety of loading and unloading before starting the operations.
If the shipping company or the master of the ship detects deficiencies in the port structures, they shall immediately bring the observations to the attention of the Port of Helsinki in order to allow the Port of Helsinki to take action to rectify the deficiencies and immediately limit and reduce any risk or harm caused by the deficiencies.
5. Port area safety
Enterprises operating in the port must comply with the instructions and safety regulations issued by the Port of Helsinki.
Operating and moving in the restricted area of the port requires permission. The permission may be granted by the Port or by a body authorised by the Port.
Operating on the port area railway network requires permission issued by the Port of Helsinki, and any operation must comply with the instructions issued by the Port.
Enterprises operating in the port area shall designate a contact person for the management of security matters. Enterprises with long-term operating and leasing contracts are obliged to join the access control system maintained by the port, if required by the Port of Helsinki.
Vessels shall provide information on crew and other passenger traffic to the Port or a body designated by it for access control purposes. When moving within the port area, a photo identity card or other identity card shall be presented on request.
The operations in the port area shall comply with applicable legislation, such as the provisions and principles of the Road Traffic Act and the Water Traffic Act. The maximum permissible speed of a vehicle, rights of way, parking spaces and other traffic arrangements, such as the permissible crossing points of railway rails, are indicated by means of traffic control devices and markings.
All vehicles must follow the Port Authority’s safety instructions.
Vehicles and machinery shall use flashing warning lights when moving in the common work areas and on quays in the port.
Parking in port areas is prescribed by parking signs and parking is allowed only in these areas. In the case of non-compliant parking, the owner or holder of the vehicle shall be liable for compensation in the event of damage.
All vehicles must yield to trains, passenger gangways, quay cranes and other equipment moving on rail tracks. Parking in the railway area is strictly prohibited. When loading or unloading a vehicle in the railway area, the driver must not leave the vehicle.
CE marked high-visibility clothing (EN 471) shall be used in the port area. The definition of safety clothing in terminal areas is the responsibility of each terminal operator.
Pedestrians and light traffic shall use the routes reserved and marked for them when moving in the area.
A person seeking to enter a restricted area in the port area of the Port of Helsinki shall, upon request, present an identity card approved by the port company or an access permit or the information required for the right to visit must be entered in the access control system. Supervisory authorities shall present official identity cards upon request. Photography and videotaping are allowed in the restricted area only with permission from the Port of Helsinki.
The Port of Helsinki shall report any suspected offences or attempted offences to the relevant authority for consideration.
The map attached to these harbour regulations defines the port area’s permanent security areas with access and residence restrictions. In addition to these, the port area may also have temporary security areas. The access and residence ban and the consequences of its infringement are expressed on the notification boards at the port area border. Any persons wishing to gain access to such a port area shall, on request, present an official identification card approved by the Port of Helsinki or access permit or otherwise prove their identity. The Port of Helsinki may remove unauthorised persons present in the port area.
Any access to a restricted area of the port, security area or in the vicinity of the quays outside port activities shall be prohibited both in water and on land.
The Port of Helsinki shall have the right to revoke a person’s access permit to the area for a fixed period if the person fails to comply with the movement regulations and instructions concerning the area and for other justified reasons. Unauthorised or intoxicated persons present in the port area may be removed from the port area where necessary with the help of the authorities or security guards.
It is the responsibility of everyone to submit to the Port of Helsinki any information that may be significant in terms of port security as well as port facility security and shipping security as specified in the ISPS Code.
6. Environmental regulations
Anyone operating or conducting business in the port must comply with the valid environmental and waste management instructions issued by the Port of Helsinki.
Everyone is obliged to avoid and minimise the environmental impact of their own activities in the port area. The Port of Helsinki shall be immediately informed of any environmental emissions and damage observed in the port area in order to take the necessary rescue measures.
The master of the vessel shall ensure the environmental safety of the vessel in such a way that the vessel or its loading or unloading operations do not result in the release of cargo or any other goods, substances that pollute the environment or are harmful to it, or other emissions or waste into the environment. This also applies to the maintenance and repair of vessels while they are moored. The master shall also ensure that the vessel or its operations do not cause unreasonable inconvenience to the other users of the port or the Port of Helsinki.
The master or handler of the goods shall immediately notify the Port of Helsinki of cargoes or other goods, substances that may be harmful to the environment, emissions and waste, and take appropriate measures to remove them without delay.
It is prohibited to shallow the water area without permission from the Port of Helsinki. If the port’s water area is shallowed as a result of an accident or other reason, the Port of Helsinki and the maritime authorities must be immediately notified of this. If necessary, dragging and restoring the draught of the port area shall be carried out at the expense of the damaging party.
The handler of the goods shall ensure that the port and port area are not unnecessarily dirtied and that any unnecessary noise is not caused. If the handling of goods causes dust, noise or other issues that are harmful to the environment, the Port of Helsinki may stop the handling of the goods.
The parties handling goods and managing such work shall ensure that rubbish, waste, pallets and covers are taken to the appropriate locations specified by the Port of Helsinki and that any areas soiled are cleaned up. The Port of Helsinki is entitled to clean any areas that are not cleaned despite requests to do so at the expense of the consignor.
7. Rescue operations and fire prevention
Enterprises operating in the restricted areas of the port shall designate a contact person for the management of security matters and participate in the preparation of the emergency plans for the area, the acquisition of necessary equipment and exercises in proportion to the risks posed by their activities.
Any marked fire alleyways in the warehouses and storage areas in the port area as well as routes to fire hydrants, fire wells and fire extinguishing pipes shall be kept clear and accessible for traffic at all times. The fire-fighting and life-saving equipment, automatic fire detection and life-saving appliances, and automatic fire detection and extinguishing devices shall be kept in good order at all times, and portable fire extinguishers shall be easily accessible.
Fires are prohibited in the port area.
If the cargo of a vessel is inflammable, hazard signs must be clearly deployed. Naked flames, repairs causing sparks and smoking are prohibited on deck and on the quays and waters near the vessel.
The ventilation of tanks where inflammable materials have been stored is prohibited without permission from the Port of Helsinki and the competent public authority.
In the port area, hot work may only be carried out at the designated hot work sites or with permission from the Port of Helsinki. The vessel’s master is responsible for any hot work aboard the vessel.
To the best of their ability, the crews of vessels at the port shall take part in the rescue operations and in the removing of vessels from locations at risk according to regulations issued by authorities and instructions issued by the Port of Helsinki.
An enterprise carrying out bunkering must be authorised to provide the service by the Port of Helsinki. As a prerequisite for the authorisation to be issued, the enterprise shall comply with the requirements set out in Regulation (EU) 2017/352 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
The terms and conditions for service providers are published on the website of the Port of Helsinki.
STS bunkering shall be notified to the Port of Helsinki 24 hours before commencement. The master of the vessel shall comply with the Port of Helsinki guidelines and the necessary international regulations as well as safety and environmental protection regulations concerning STS bunkering.
When bunkering using a fuel tanker, the port shall be notified in good time before the bunkering begins. The driver shall comply with the port guidelines and other necessary safety and environmental protection regulations concerning bunkering.
The port guidelines are published on the website of the Port of Helsinki.
LNG (liquefied natural gas) bunkering requires a risk mapping carried out jointly by the Port of Helsinki, the shipping company and the service provider.
9. Procedure in the event of an accident or violation
If a vessel or boat has run aground or has been flooded in the Port of Helsinki area, the owner or holder shall immediately notify the Port of Helsinki and remove the vessel or boat as soon as possible.
If a sunken vessel or other object in the water causes danger or an obstruction to traffic, its owner or holder shall mark it with appropriate and clearly visible caution markers. If they neglect to do so, the Port of Helsinki will take care of its marking at the expense of the owner or holder.
If a quay, structure or other device of the Port of Helsinki is damaged as a result of the operation of the port user, it shall be reported without delay to the Port of Helsinki. The Port of Helsinki shall assess the magnitude of the damage. The party causing the damage or their agent have the right to participate in the assessment of the damage. In the event that the damaging party does not participate in the assessment of the damage, the damaging party shall be deemed to have accepted the Port Authority’s assessment of the magnitude of the damage.
If a vessel, boat, cargo or cargo-handling equipment has been placed without permission, otherwise in violation of these harbour regulations or in a manner impeding traffic, and the master, driver, owner or holder does not remove it, the Port of Helsinki may see to the removal at the expense of the violator. In the case of vessels, boats and goods taken over by the Port of Helsinki, the owner of which is unknown or for which no owner appears within three months, the Port shall undertake the same procedure as for unclaimed items.
The damaging party is responsible for any damage it has caused, such as the repair costs of the structures or other damaged equipment of the Port of Helsinki. The damaging party is also responsible for any indirect personal injury, material damage and economic loss it has caused to third parties in accordance with the applicable legislation.
The party in violation of harbour regulations is obliged to compensate for the damage it has caused, as provided for in legislation. In addition to this, the Port of Helsinki may refuse any party in violation of the provisions in these harbour regulations access to the port area.
A violation of a law or regulation is punishable by a penalty imposed by law.
10. Other provisions
Objects impeding traffic must not be installed in the water area without the permission of the Port of Helsinki.
Disruptive fishing on fairways, in harbour basins, on quays, on bridges and in other comparable sites is prohibited. Swimming in the harbour basin and in the fairways is prohibited.
Boats or vessels used for recreational purposes may only be moored in places reserved for them or designated for them by the Port of Helsinki.
Boats and vessels used for recreational purposes shall avoid moving in the port area unnecessarily and always yield to commercial vessels.
The opening of a channel in ice cover outside the public fairways is only allowed with permission from the Port of Helsinki.
Loitering in passenger terminals is prohibited. The Port of Helsinki may remove loiterers from passenger terminals.
Any competitions or public events organised in the area managed by the Port of Helsinki always require permission from the Port of Helsinki.
Under Regulation (EU) 2017/352 of the European Parliament and of the Council, the Port of Helsinki Ltd grants rights to provide services in the port area governed by the Port of Helsinki Ltd to companies that apply to provide the following services:
• refuelling services
• towing services
• mooring and unmooring services.
Instructions concerning the application process have been provided separately on the website of the Port of Helsinki.
11. Claims for compensation and limitation of liability
Any complaints or claims for compensation addressed to the Port of Helsinki shall be made without undue delay. If the complaint is filed later than 30 days after the accident or when the injured party discovered the accident, the injured party loses their right of action.
The action against the Port of Helsinki must be brought within one year of the damage or the injured party being informed of the damage or when the injured party should have been informed of it at the risk of losing the right of action. Any action against the Port of Helsinki must be brought before the District Court of Helsinki. The law of Finland is the applicable law.
The Port of Helsinki shall not be liable for any restrictions or costs arising from compliance with the relevant laws, the terms of regulations or authorisations issued by authorities or other statutory obligations imposed on it.
12. Supplementary technical instructions and appendices to the harbour regulations
The valid technical instructions and attachments supplementing the harbour regulations at any given time are published on the Port of Helsinki website at www.portofhelsinki.fi
If the translation differs from the original, the Finnish-language harbour regulations are adhered to.
These harbour regulations have been confirmed by decision of the Port of Helsinki Ltd.
These harbour regulations are valid until further notice and entered into force 7.2.2023.