Monitoring international waters
Together with Estonia and Russia, Finland has set up a mandatory ship reporting system in the Gulf of Finland, GOFREP (Gulf of Finland Reporting). The system covers the international waters of the Gulf of Finland, east of the western reporting line. In addition, Estonia and Finland have implemented this mandatory ship reporting system in their territorial waters outside their VTS areas.
The Finnish area of responsibility covers the northern part of the GOFREP area, and it is monitored by Helsinki Traffic, operating in the Gulf of Finland VTS Centre. The southern area of responsibility of the GOFREP area is monitored by Tallinn Traffic in Estonia, and the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland is the monitoring area of St. Petersburg Traffic.
Instructions for vessels navigating in the GOFREP area are provided in the GOFREP Master’s Guide.
The Gulf of Finland has four traffic separation schemes, which are located in the sea areas south of Hankoniemi, Porkkala, and Kalbådagrund, and the western sea area of Kõpu. In addition, Russian territorial waters have traffic separation schemes maintained by Russia. With Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS), vessel traffic is directed to follow certain routes in sea areas of heavy traffic, and traffic in opposite directions is separated.
Åland Sea TSS
Together with Sweden, Finland has set up a traffic separation scheme in the Åland Sea (Åland Sea TSS). The traffic in the South Åland Sea TSS is monitored by Åland Sea Traffic, operating from the Western Finland VTS centre. The area does not have an obligatory reporting system for vessel traffic, but vessel traffic is monitored. The vessels are notified of violations, and violations are reported to the authorities.
Instructions for vessels navigating in the South Åland Sea TSS are provided in the Åland Sea TSS Master’s Guide.