National space legislation
The Act on Space Activities entered into force on 23 January 2018. The Act is supplemented by the Decree of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on Space Activities. Reasoning of the provisions, impact analysis and other background information can be found in the Government Proposal.
The objective of the Act is to provide space activities carried on in Finland with a clear framework, smooth authorisation process and uniform operator obligations. A predictable and legally clear operating environment promotes the competitiveness and growth of and a safe and secure operating environment for space industry and helps attract new actors and investments to Finland. The starting point is a positive approach towards space activities.
The Act applies to space activities carried on within the territory of the State of Finland or on board a vessel or aircraft registered in Finland. The Act also applies to space activities carried on by a Finnish citizen or a legal person incorporated in Finland. Space objects cannot yet be launched from Finland. A Finnish actor typically procures the launching of a space object outside Finland and operates it itself from Finland.
The Act lays down provisions on authorisation for space activities and conditions for authorisation. There is a particular focus in the consideration of applications for authorisation on ensuring the operator’s technical expertise and financial capacity, the safety of the activities and compatibility with Finland’s international obligations and Finland’s foreign policy interests. In addition, the Act lays down provisions on the operator’s obligations and on supervision relating to space activities. Owing to the State’s international liability for damage caused by space objects, the Act lays down provisions on the State’s right of recourse towards operators and operators’ obligation to take out insurance against damage caused by space objects. The Act also contains provisions on the registration authority and the information to be recorded in the registry. Violations of the Act are punishable as violations concerning space activities. The authorisation procedure and the provisions concerning supervision do not apply to space activities carried out by the Defence Forces.
Finland is committed to the UN treaties on outer space. Under the treaties, Finland is responsible for national space activities and is obliged to supervise them. The Act implements in national law the international obligations binding on Finland under the UN treaties on outer space.
Maija Lönnqvist - maija.lonnqvist(at)tem.fi
Tuija Ypyä - tuija.ypya(at)tem.fi