Notifications to be made by the transport operator before starting a transport operation
Under section 30 of the Border Guard Act (578/2005), a transport operator must notify the Border Guard when beginning services in a new transport operation as follows:
- For a new cross-border transport operation across the external border of the Schengen area, notification must be made no later than four months in advance.
- For new cross-border routes or services across the external border of the Schengen area, notification must be made no later than two months in advance.
Notifications shall be submitted to the Border Guard by e-mail (rajavartiolaitos(a)raja.fi) or mail (Border Guard Headquarters, PO Box 3, FI-00131 Helsinki). The notification shall include at least the following information:
- contact information for the transport operator,
- whether the notification concerns the introduction of a new cross-border transport operation or the addition of cross-border routes or services,
- the border crossing point concerned in the case of a new operation,
- the date when the transport operation will begin.
Carrier's supervisory and disclosure obligation
According to Section 173 of the Aliens Act (301/2004), a carrier must ensure that any alien whom it brings into Finland and who is not an EU citizen or comparable must hold the travel document required for entry into the country, as well as any required visa or residence permit. Section 174 of the Aliens Act states that the driver of a vehicle, the master of a vessel or aircraft, or the representative of the carrier on board another vehicle is obliged to ensure that no-one who is not entitled to enter Finland enters the country without the permission of the border control authorities. The master of a vessel must give the border control authorities advance notification of any stowaway detected on board.
Sections 24 - 26 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Border Guard (639/2019) define the disclosure obligation that applies to vehicle drivers and carriers. The master of a vessel must provide the border control authorities at either the entry or exit point with information about the crew, passengers and other people aboard the vessel, either as a passenger and crew list or in another acceptable format. This information can be submitted with the aid of a technical interface. The passenger and crew list should show every person's forename, surname, date of birth, gender and nationality. It should also show the arrival and departure point of the vessel or craft, as well as its nationality and registration.
Carrier's disclosure obligation for airline traffic
In addition to what is laid down in Section 24 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Border Guard, a natural person or body corporate engaging in professional passenger transport by air (the airline carrier) must, on request by the border control authorities, supply the information mentioned in Section 25 for any passenger that the airline carrier transports to an official border crossing through which the said person enters or leaves the Member States of the European Union (air passenger data).
The information must be supplied immediately after check-in has been completed. Unless this information is required for the border control authorities' other statutory tasks, the border control authorities must destroy this information within 24 hours of a passenger's arrival in or departure from the country. Unless otherwise legislated, the discloser must destroy the personal details they acquired and submitted to the border control authorities within 24 hours of their aircraft's arrival at its destination.
API Fact sheet pdf, 38,7 kB
Passenger name record data: Informations about passenger name record (PNR) data (poliisi.fi).
Carrier's disclosure obligation for vessel traffic and railway traffic
A natural or legal person engaged in the professional transport of passengers or goods by water or rail must deliver the passenger and crew information to the border control authority before arriving at a border check.
In rail transport, the information must be delivered at the latest once the train has departed from the last station from which it took passengers on board. The provisions and regulations laid down in the Schengen Borders Code and elsewhere are applied to the advance delivery obligation of vessel traffic information.
Finland is governed by the Schengen Borders Code. In accordance with point 3.1.2 in Annex VI of this Code, a vessel's master, the ship’s agent or some other person duly authorised by the master or authenticated in a manner acceptable to the public authority concerned (in both cases ‘the master’), shall draw up a list of the crew and any passengers containing the information required in the forms 5 (crew list) and 6 (passenger list) of the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) as well as, where applicable, the visa or residence permit numbers:
- at the latest twenty-four hours before arriving in the port, or
- at the latest at the time the ship leaves the previous port, if the voyage time is less than twenty-four hours, or
- if the port of call is not known or it is changed during the voyage, as soon as this information is available.
The master shall communicate the list(s) to the Border Guard.
For cruise ships arriving in the Port of Helsinki, passenger lists and information about the visas granted to sailors should be emailed to cruise(at)raja.fi. For cruise ships arriving in the Ports of Kotka and Hamina, passenger lists should be emailed to vp.kotka.passintarkastus(at)raja.fi.
The master shall promptly report to the competent authority any changes to the composition of the crew or the number of passengers. In addition, the master shall notify the competent authorities promptly, and within the time-limit set out in point 3.1.2., of the presence on board of stowaways. Stowaways, however, remain under the responsibility of the master.
The master shall notify the competent authority of the ship’s departure in due time and in accordance with the rules in force in the port concerned.
The FAL Convention forms 5 (crew list) and 6 (passenger list) must be saved in the PORTNET system in accordance with the Vessel Traffic Service Act (623/2005) and with the regulation issued by Finnish Customs on the notification procedure for vessels arriving at and departing from Finnish ports.
This regulation (updated annually) concerns arrival and departure notifications submitted for vessels arriving in or departing from a port in Finland, the content of these notifications and their entry into the electronic shipping data management system (Portnet) mentioned in section 20 a (225/2012) of the Vessel Traffic Service Act (623/2005), as well as the registration of vessels, their representatives and shipowners in the system.
More information about Portnet:
Schengen Borders Code (annex VI) includes specific rules for cruise ships, pleasure boating and coastal fishing. Entering Finnish territory by Governmental vessels it is provided for by Territorial Surveillance Act (755/2000).
Return transportation obligation
If a foreign national is turned back or denied entry, Section 175 of the Aliens Act obliges the carrier that transported the alien to Finland to transport this person:
- to the country from which the carrier transported the alien to Finland;
- to the country that issued the travel document used by the alien; or
- to any country into which the alien can be guaranteed entry.
The former also applies to the carrier if a third country national travelling through Finland is denied entry to the country and, if:
- another carrier that was meant to transport the alien to their final destination refuses to take the alien on board; or if
- the authorities in the destination country have turned back the alien and the alien has been sent back to Finland.
If the border control authority has allowed the alien to enter the country, the carrier is not bound by the obligation in paragraph 1 unless the alien has sought asylum or a residence permit at the border, that is, either secondary, humanitarian, or temporary asylum.
Carrier's infringement fine
If a carrier fails to comply with the supervisory obligation laid down in Section 173 of the Aliens Act or the disclosure obligation laid down in Section 25 or 26 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Border Guard, the carrier will be liable to pay an infringement fine (carrier's infringement fine). The fine for failure to comply with Section 173 is EUR 3,000 per person transported. The fine for failure to comply with Section 25 or 26 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Border Guard is EUR 3,000 for each journey for which passenger information has either not been submitted at all or is incomplete or incorrect.
Violation of the Aliens Act
In accordance with Section 185 of the Aliens Act, anyone who, either with intent or through gross negligence, fails to comply with Sections 174 or 175 of the Aliens Act or Section 24 of the Act on the Processing of Personal Data by the Border Guard will also be considered in violation of the Aliens Act.
New procedures and obligations for carriers
The European Union will introduce two information systems in connection to crossing of external borders:
- The information system for border crossing (Entry/Exit System, EES) will be introduced during autumn 2024 and
- the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) during spring 2025.
The introduction of EES and ETIAS systems requires actions from carriers transporting passengers from third countries into the territory of the European Union and Schengen States. In the future, carriers shall send control enquiries concerning the said passengers into EES and ETIAS systems via the carrier interface.
Carriers have to be registered in order to receive the necessary information and technical instructions for carrying out the enquiries. Instructions for the registration and description of sharing of information are available at eu-LISA’s webpage:
- Frequently Asked Questions for Carriers: Carriers' FAQ (europa.eu)
- eu-LISA’s webpage dedicated to carriers: eu-LISA - Carriers (europa.eu)
- EES official website: FAQs EES (europa.eu)
- ETIAS official website: ETIAS (europa.eu)
- EES Regulation: EUR-Lex - 02017R2226-20210803 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu)
- EES Implementing Act: EUR-Lex - 32022R1409 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu)
- ETIAS Regulation: EUR-Lex - 02018R1240-20210803 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu)
- ETIAS Implementing Act: EUR-Lex - 32022R1380 - EN - EUR-Lex (europa.eu)