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Safety provisions for the ships

VTS – Vessel Traffic Service

Vessels with a length of 24 metres or more are obligated to use the service. It promotes efficient maritime traffic, and prevent accidents.

Master’s Guide

Waterways (in Finnish)


The master of a vessel involved in bunkering from bunkering barge or road tanker, shall ensure that:

  • the bunkering hose has a sufficient length, is in good condition and tested
  • the bunker hose connections have a good seals and all bolts are tightened properly
  • effective communication is established between vessel and barge or road tanker
  • effective deck watch is maintained
  • the pumping rate has been agreed on
  • an emergency shut-down procedure has been agreed on
  • the driver or responsible person must remain near the road tanker at all times
  • fire fighting equipment is on board and ready for immediate use
  • scuppers on barge and vessel are closed off or sealed
  • there must be compliance with naked light requirements
  • drip trays are in place
  • absorbent material is onsite
  • red flag or red signal light is in place

In case of bunker spillage:

  • cease bunkering operation immediately
  • take measures to stop or limit spillage
  • notify Helsinki VTS (VHF 71) and agree further action (Oil spill response)
  • provide incident report to Harbour Master

Hot work and smoking is prohibited during the bunkering at the adjacent quay area.

Bunkering LNG

This manual details the minimum requirements for shipping companies and LNG suppliers that wish to bunker LNG at the Port of Helsinki.

Safety manual on LNG bunkering

Precautions against Fire

If the cargo of the vessels is inflammable, clear signs shall be used. Naked flames, hot work and smoking are prohibited on deck, on the quays near the vessel and in the adjacent water area.

Ventilating vessels tanks where inflammable materials have been stored is prohibited without the permission of the Port Authority. Separate provisions apply the electrical grounding of tankers.

Naked flames and smoking shall be prohibited in the harbour and warehouse areas designated for inflammable liquids. The prohibition also applies also in the water area to a distance of 50 metres from the warehouse area, quays and vessels.


Smoking on the vessels carrying inflammable liquids is only permitted in designated areas assigned by the Captain. Signs indicating smoking prohibition must be placed clearly visible location on board near the gangway.


  • Vessels must neither be moored at the quay, leave their mooring nor move within the port area without a permit from Port of Helsinki
  • A vessel can be moored alongside another vessel only by consent from the Port of Helsinki
  • A vessel carrying flammable liquids in its cargo shall have two emergency towing wires outside of the vessels bow and stern for immediate use.


Gangways and the ship’s ladders shall be equipped with handrails and safety netting, as well as lighted during hours of darkness. Gangways and ladders shall be attached avoiding any harm or damage. Ship’s equipment projecting beyond the gunwale shall not impede operations on the quay or on the seaward side of the vessel.

Lifeboat drills

Lifeboats can be lowered to the water, but permission must be granted from Helsinki VTS at VHF channel 71. VTS shall be informed when drill is completed.

Occupational safety

The Port of Helsinki pays attention for occupational health and requires all the companies working at the port area to follow the requirements by the Port of Helsinki.

Personnel visibility

To ensure the personnel visibility at the port area, the Port of Helsinki demands, that all persons working or moving at the port area, must wear (CE-accepted) visible clothing.

Speed limit

Speed limit at the port area is 30 km/h.

Passage ways

All persons moving at the port area are required to use marked passageways. Walking and cycling is prohibited in Port of Vuosaari (closed harbour area)


Permit for diving operation and underwater work may only be carried out once the Helsinki VTS has granted a permit.

Sukelluslupa – Diving permission

Hot work

Hot work notification is not required if the hot work is carried out at a permanent workpalce which is always prepared according to the standard.

Hot work is defined as welding, cutting, brazing, roofing, processing with high speed tools and other work that gives rise to heat or sparks and in doing so can cause a fire. When hot work is carried out near inflammable materials this is classified as hazardous in respect of fires.


All ships within the port shall be ready at all times to move under their own power at short notice. A vessel that has not been laid up shall have sufficient crew for moving it.

If the vessel is engaging such a major repair that can affect the vessel moving from berth, the Port of Helsinki has to be informed.

Alcohol and drugs

In accordance with the policy of the Port of Helsinki concerning the use of alcohol and drugs, persons present or involved in work within the port area must not be influenced by substances from either category.