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Retrieving pleasure boats and craft from outside the EU and the Schengen countries

Publication date 13.5.2022 11.22 | Published in English on 13.5.2022 at 11.30
Press release

Retrieving pleasure boats and craft after winter maintenance and docking from outside the EU and the Schengen countries is possible. A minimum crew required for safe seafaring may also arrive to Finland to retrieve the pleasure boat or craft.

Retrieving pleasure craft is considered other essential and justified reason requiring personal presence in accordance with the Government restriction decision on border crossing traffic. 

The procedure described above applies only to the retrieval of pleasure boats and craft from Finland after winter storage and the related passenger transport via border crossing points during their opening hours. For example, staying in Finland for days to carry out maintenance work will not be allowed. Before retrieving a pleasure craft from Finland, the crew arriving in Finland must check with Finnish Customs that the vessel has an export license if it is necessary.

When going outside the EU and the Schengen countries on the pleasure boat or craft, the crew must undergo a border check at a border crossing point reserved for pleasure boat traffic. Persons arriving to retrieve the pleasure boat or craft must be prepared to prove the purpose of their entry with documents presented in connection with the border checks. In order to ensure smooth border crossing, the crew are advised to carry documents related to the ownership of the boat and its winter storage in Finland. 

A prior notice is required for retrieving pleasure boats or craft from Finland. The retrieval of the pleasure boat or craft must be notified to the Finnish Border Guard no later than 2 weekdays before the planned arrival in Finland. Notifications must be submitted:

  • For vessels retrieved through the Saimaa Canal to: rajatarkastus.nuijamaa(at)raja.fi 
  • For vessels retrieved via the Santio border crossing point or the Haapasaari Coast Guard Station to: slmvjoke(at)raja.fi

The notice must contain the following information:

  • retrieval of the crew / pleasure boat or craft from Finland: date, time and border crossing point, including the date and time when the crew arrived in Finland and their border crossing point    
  • details of the crew and vessel, provided on the vessel’s crew manifest. In addition to the passport details, the details of the possible visas must also be included in the details of the crew.
  • In addition to the registration number, the vessel's details must include the place of registration, the model of the boat and the HIN number
  • a docking contract and information on the vessel’s storage location (dock location and locality, dock company or harbour) must be included with the notice.

The fulfilment of the entry conditions is always decided on a case-by-case basis, based on judgement, at the border crossing point by the border control authority. 

Health authorities are responsible for implementing health safety measures at border crossing points. In order to ensure the health safety of travel, it is important that everyone arriving in Finland familiarise themselves with the instructions and requirements concerning entry and the operating process at border crossing points. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) provides information on health safety measures related to travel on its website in the Covid-19 pandemic situation at the national level. It is important to note that health security measures at the various border crossing points may have regional differences.

The Border Guard does not comment on any restrictions on entry or exit that other states may have imposed. The master and/or owner of the pleasure boat or craft is obliged to investigate any restrictions imposed by Russia on border crossing traffic, for example.

More detailed instructions on border crossing and contact details of the Finnish Border Guard:

Border crossing instructions for boaters - the Finnish Border Guard
Border checks of pleasure craft in the Saimaa Canal - the Finnish Border Guard
Contact information - the Finnish Border Guard

Up-to-date health safety instructions can be checked at the following link:

Travel and the coronavirus pandemic - Infectious diseases and vaccinations - THL

COVID-19 Raja – press release