According to the Hufvudstadsbladet report, asylum seekers heading to Finland are now being required to present a valid visa at the harbour in Travemünde before boarding a Finnlines ferry to Helsinki. The company runs a ferry six days a week on the route.
Finnlines announced in a online release for passengers on the 23rd of December that Finnish Authorities had requested in writing for Finnlines to start to check ” in addition to the passport and photo ID card, also other documents that passengers are required to hold to enter Finland, i.e. visa, residence permit or other equivalent document.”
At that time, the shipping line announced it would immediately enforce the requirement, adding that “Finnlines will not carry on board its ships any person who does not have all the documents requested for entry”.
“We have had discussions with Finnlines management and the shipping line has tightened its requirements,” Interior Ministry Permanent Secretary Päivi Nerg told Hufvudstadsbladet.
Before Christmas, around 25 asylum seekers were arriving in Finland on each ferry from Travemünde.