Boat control

Customs’ boat control

Customs controls all types of traffic used to cross the Finnish borders. Finland has a long territorial water border, and boating is a popular hobby. The Saimaa Canal, a fine scenic route to Russia, interests boaters. When crossing the border, keep in mind the customs regulations.

Customs is on the alert at the sea borders and on Lake Saimaa when it performs customs control and sees to the safety of the boaters.

Customs’ boat operations

Customs has fast and seaworthy boats in Helsinki, Kotka, Turku and on Lake Saimaa. Customs’ boat patrols have many things to control, based on several regulations:

  • the Water Traffic Act
    • boat equipment, the boat drivers’ fitness to drive, the general boating regulations
  • the Fishing Act
  • boating-related fuel issues
    • diesel fuel used in leisure craft
  • the Hunting Act
  • environmental issues
    • oil spills, tidiness of the waterways
  • sea rescue
    • Customs participates in sea rescue activities
  • cooperation between authorities
    • When boating, you may come across a patrol consisting of a police officer, a customs officer and a border guard officer. This is called PCB cooperation. The patrol combines the powers and competence of all three authorities. The cooperation produces good results and saves taxpayers’ money.

Points to consider


According to the Water Traffic Act, Customs has exactly the same powers as the Police. According to the Customs Act, Customs can also stop a person arriving in or leaving the country, discuss with the person and, when necessary, perform a customs inspection.

Read more: Customs control


When you meet Customs’ boat patrol, greet it with a wave of your hand in a seamanlike manner. Officers working in Customs’ boat patrols are seafaring professionals who will help you in problem situations at sea.

Customs’ boat patrols will also give you instructions and guidance on regulations concerning cross-border boat traffic.


Contact us

Contact Customs Information Mon–Fri 8 am–4.15 pm

Please have a look at the frequently asked questions.

If you have a question about the arrival of parcels, its contents or the handling fee, please contact Posti.

Customs Information Service