Filing a complaint about a ship voyage

File a complaint with the shipping company responsible for the voyage. In the event of cancellation or delay, the complaint should be filed as soon as possible and within two months of the voyage. If your complaint to the shipping company does not produce results, you can contact the Consumer Advisory Services.

  • In case of a problem, first ask the shipping company to take care of your rights. If the shipping company does not offer you the agreed services or compensation, file a written complaint with the shipping company as soon as possible, for example, through the company’s website. If your complaint concerns a cancellation or delay, submit the complaint no later than within two months after the voyage. The shipping company has a duty to inform you about your rights if your voyage is cancelled or delayed.

    If your voyage was part of a package travel, both the shipping company and the travel organizer may be liable. If necessary, file a complaint with both.

    If the problem involves a mistake made or other action of the travel organizer that booked the voyage, the complaint must be filed with the travel organizer. If the problem only concerned a voyage booking rather than a package travel, the travel organizer is not responsible for any problems that were associated with or happened during the voyage. Its liability is limited to ensuring that the booking was made as agreed and with due care.

    Instructions for filing a complaint

    • File the complaint in writing. The complaint should be filed as soon as possible and no later than two months after the voyage.
    • The complaint must clearly indicate who is filing the complaint and with whom, as well as the voyage concerned and reasons for submitting the complaint. You should also explain what your demands are and what they are based on.
    • If you wish, you can use the Complaint Assistant to help you with the complaint. You can use the Assistant in Finnish, Swedish and English.
    • Save and keep a copy of your complaint.
    • In the event of a delay or cancellation covered by the EU regulation, the shipping company must inform you within one month after receiving your complaint whether the complaint is approved, rejected, or pending.
    • The final answer must be issued within two months of receiving a complaint pertaining to a delay or cancellation.
  • If your complaint to the shipping company does not bring about the results you hoped for, you can contact the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s Consumer Advisory Services. The Consumer Advisory Services provide instructions for dealing the problems with a shipping company that has an office in Finland, or when the voyage in question started in Finland or arrived in Finland from outside the EU.

    If your claim seems justified, the Consumer Advisory Services will guide you with the further steps. In certain situations, the Consumer Advisory Services may also mediate in your dispute with the shipping company.

    Consumer Advice Telephone Service

    Service time Monday–Wednesday and Friday 9 am – noon, Thursday noon – 3 pm.

    Note! The telephone service is closed on Thursday, March 28. The online form closes on Thursday 28 March at 3pm. Services will be open on Tuesday, April 2nd.

    The European Consumer Centre provides guidance in disputes relating to a foreign shipping company that has no offices in Finland, or when a foreigner complains about a Finnish shipping company. The European Consumer Centre can also advise you if the voyage started from the port of another EU country or arrived in another EU country from outside the EU.

    European Consumer Centre Finland

    Service time Mon–Thu from 9 am –12 pm

    European Consumer Centre Finland help consumers with problems related to cross-border trade. Our main themes are travel ande-commerce.

  • If a shipping company violates your rights as a maritime passenger, you can file a complaint with the relevant enforcement authority. Each EU country has an authority that enforces maritime passenger rights under the EU Regulation. Each authority supervises voyages that start from their respective country, as well as vessels arriving in their area from outside the EU.

    You should note that some authorities only supervise compliance with legislation, while others deal with individual disputes and claims for compensation. You should file your complaint in English or in the language of the Member State in question.

    The supervisory authorities in Finland are the Consumer Ombudsman within the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

    Consumer Disputes Board handles individual disputes regarding compensation

    In Finland, individual disputes and claims for compensation between a consumer and a shipping company are handled by the Consumer Disputes Board, which is an impartial and free dispute resolution body. Visit the Consumer Dispute Board’s website to find out about the situations in which you should take your complaint to the Consumer Disputes Board.

    Please note that before you take your case to the Consumer Disputes Board, you must first submit a complaint to the shipping company. In most cases, you should also first contact the Consumer Advisory Services.

    Consumer Ombudsman enforces maritime passengers’ rights

    The Consumer Ombudsman, who works within the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority, supervises the marketing, contract terms and practices of shipping companies operating in Finland in their customer relationships as well as compliance with the Regulation on maritime passengers’ rights in relation to ships that start their voyage from Finland or arrive in Finland from third countries, placing emphasis on the collective interests of consumers.

    The Consumer Ombudsman does not handle individual compensation cases or disputes or respond individually to reports from consumers. We can process consumer contacts made in Finnish, Swedish or English.

    Business travellers can contact Traficom

    The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom enforces the compliance with the Regulation on ship maritime passengers’ rights for the part of business travellers. This means that business travellers can contact Traficom about problems with ship voyages. Traficom also supervises the rights of passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility.