Image: Timber transport train (Photo: Elena Noeva/Shutterstock)
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has submitted a proposal supplementing a government proposal on amending the Rail Transport Act for comments, in light of recent trade sanctions with Russia.
It is proposed that section 80 of the Rail Transport Act be amended so that the rolling stock units used for international rail transport of timber could temporarily also be used for transporting timber within Finland, if the owner of the rolling stock unit is a Finnish forest industry company, or if the company has concluded a long-term lease agreement on the units with the owner of the rolling stock.
Russia's attack on Ukraine and the consequent sanctions have put an end to imports of raw timber from Russia. Raw timber has been imported from Russia to Finland using rolling stock units for international transport that may not be used for domestic rail transport.
The legislative amendment would ease the situation of the forest industry now that international timber transports are being replaced by domestic raw timber transports.
This would be a temporary derogation procedure and it would remain in force until 31 December 2023. The proposal would include an authorisation to extend the validity of the derogation procedure until the end of 2025, if necessary.
The aim is to submit the supplementary government proposal to Parliament, as urgent, in April. It supplements another legislative proposal amending the Rail Transport Act, which is to be submitted to Parliament on 7 April 2022.