Act and Decree on Space Activities

The Act on Space Activities (63/2018) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment Decree on Space Activities (74/2018), which supplements the Act, entered into force in January 2018 introducing such things as the authorisation and supervision processes related to space activities and registration procedures for space objects. The authorisation and registration procedures laid down in the Act provide the State with information on space activities carried out in its territory or by its citizens and legal persons. In this way, Finland will be able to fulfil its obligations under the UN international space agreements to monitor the space activities under its responsibility and to manage the financial risk associated with the liability for damages under the space agreements for damage caused by space activities. 

The Act on Space Activities applies to space activities carried out in Finland or outside Finland if the activities are carried out on a vessel registered in Finland or by a Finnish citizen or legal person with a domicile in Finland. The Act only applies to a limited extent to the space activities carried out by the Defence Forces. More detailed provisions on the supervision of space activities carried out by Defence Forces are laid down in the Ministry of Defence Decree (999/2019).

The Act on Space Activities contains provisions on e.g. the prerequisites for granting authorisation of space activities, the obligations of the operator, the supervision of space activities and the right of recourse by the state to the operator, the obligation to insure space activities and the grounds for deviating from this. The Act also contains provisions on the Registry of Space Objects and the information to be recorded in the register. In addition, the Act contains its own sections on operational safety, space debris and environmental protection.

The Decree on Space Activities clarifies the Act on Space Activities, for example with regard to the information that the operator must submit to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in its application for authorisation, in its annual reports and in accordance with its other obligations to provide information. The Decree also includes provisions on the risk limits for the obligation to insure and the coverage required of the insurance covering the launch phase.