Finland Country Guide

finland flagWith a geographical area of over 130,000 square miles Finland is one of the larger European countries but conversely it is the most sparsely populated with around 5.5 million inhabitants.

The majority of the population reside in the southern regions with Helsinki, Finland’s capital city, being home for around 615,000. Finland became a member of the European Union in 1995 and is also within the Euro currency zone. It shares land borders with Sweden, Russia and Norway and faces Estonia across the Gulf of Finland. Numerous ferry services run into Finland from Sweden, Poland, Germany and Estonia. Viking Line and Tallink Silja Ferries offer services from Helsinki to Tallin, Stockholm, and Mariehamn and from Turku to Langnas, Stockholm and Mariehamn. Finnlines operate from Travemunde to Helsinki, Turku and Rauma, from Lubeck to Helsinki, Turku, Rauma and Kotka.

Driver Requirements

Couriers, van operators, lorry and truck drivers must carry a full passport, appropriate national driving licence, the vehicles certificate of road worthiness (MOT, test certificate or equivalent) and a nationality plate must be fixed at the vehicles rear. There are no road tolls or vehicle movement taxes applied in Finland and there are no restrictions on the amount of fuel carried in the main tank that can be brought into the country.

Vehicle Restrictions

All vehicles travelling in Finland are restricted to a height of 4.2m and a width of 2.6m. Lorries are restricted at 12m in length, articulated trucks at 16.5m, road trains at 18.75m and vehicles with a trailer/ semi- trailer are restricted to a maximum length of 25.25m. Regarding weight limitations the following restrictions apply: two axle vehicles 18t maximum, 3 axles – 25t (26t if twin wheeled drive axle with pneumatic suspension), 4 axles – 32t (providing it has a twin wheeled drive axle with pneumatic suspension) and 38t if on 5 axles. Twin axle trailers are restricted to 20t and tri axles 30t. Articulated lorries (configured 2+3) 42t and 48t maximum for (3+3 configuration). The weight limits on road trains are as follows: 4 axles – 36t, 5 axles 44t, 6 axles 53t and 7 or more axles a maximum of 60t. Any vehicles in excess of these weights and dimensions must seek authorisation from:

Ajoneuvohallintokeskus
P.B. 108 00531
Helsinki

Tel: 00 358 977 4731

Couriers, van, lorry and truck drivers should be aware of the following whilst driving in Finland. Seat belts are compulsory as are winter tyres with a minimum depth of 3mm from December 1st to the end of February and warning triangle must be carried. Pedestrians must wear reflectors during darkness hours and therefore once a driver steps out of a vehicle they in effect become a pedestrian so therefore must adhere to the ruling. Studded tyres can be used between November 1st and March 31st if desired. Whilst driving in daylight headlights must be dipped at all times. Random breath and blood testing are carried out with anything in excess of 0.05 % alcohol in the blood stream resulting in fines, imprisonment and loss of licence. Unlike many European countries Finland does not impose any driving bans or restriction on bank holidays.

Speed Limits

Breaking the speed limits in Finland can lead to fines that are based on the drivers income if the driver exceeds the limit by more than 20 km/h. Speed cameras activate at 6 km/h above the limits and notifications are sent out by mail with no consequences unless the excess speed is over 10 km/h. The speed limits are 20 km/h in residential zones, 50 km/h in towns, 80 km/h in winter and 100 km/h in summer on single carriageways, 100 km/h in winter and 120 km/h in summer on dual carriageways and motorways. Lorries and articulated vehicles are restricted to 80 km/h on all roads outside towns.

In the event of emergency, all emergency services can be contacted on 112.

For further information and assistance the following may be useful:

Finnish Transport Authority: www.lvm.fi

Finnish Haulage Association: skal@skal.fi

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