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Fire Protection Fund

Fire prevention charges are rendered to the Fire Protection Fund that operates independently of the state budget. Furthermore, the Fire Protection Fund has the right to accept funds provided through donations and wills.

The funds of the Fire Protection Fund consist of income from the fire prevention charges, surpluses from previous accounting periods, funds received through donations and wills, funds accrued from the repayment of allowances and other funding paid out from the Fund as well as interest and other items associated with these.

The Act and Decree on the Fire Protection Fund

Fire prevention charge

In order to promote fire prevention and rescue services, an annual fire prevention charge must be paid on any movable or immovable property covered by fire insurance in Finland.

Anyone carrying out insurance business in Finland is liable to pay the fire prevention charge. If the insurance premium is paid to someone other than the insurer, the policyholder and the insurance broker who brokered the insurance are responsible for paying the fire prevention charge. The insurance broker is responsible for forwarding the fire prevention charge.

A foreign European Economic Area (EEA) insurer providing insurance services in Finland on the basis of freedom of services as stipulated separately must have a representative domiciled in Finland for the payment of the fire prevention charge.

Amount of the fire prevention charge

The fire prevention charge is three per cent of the total insurance premiums associated with fire risk charged in the previous year, plus three per cent of the interest calculated on the provision for unearned premiums on perpetual fire insurance

Ceded reinsurance business cannot be deducted from the said total amount of premiums. The fire prevention charge does not apply to assumed reinsurance business or to insurance against fire risk which has been granted as part of voluntary motor vehicle insurance, cargo insurance or animal insurance.

To determine the fire prevention charge, the Insurance Supervisory Authority must provide the state provincial office with details of the insurers operating within the province and liable to pay the charge, as well as any other necessary information, no later than 15 July. Furthermore, the Insurance Supervisory Authority must provide the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland with details of foreign EEA insurers as stipulated above. By the end of July each year the state provincial office must send those liable to pay the fire prevention charge a request to provide the information necessary for debiting the charge. Insurers as well as the representatives of foreign EEA insurers providing insurance services in Finland on the basis of freedom of services must provide the relevant state provincial office with written information for the debiting of the charge no later than 15 September each year.

If the insurer fails to provide the state provincial office with this information within the said time limit, the state provincial office is entitled to oblige the insurer under penalty of a fine to provide such information within a new time limit or to debit the charge on the basis of other information available. With respect to a penalty of a fine, the stipulations of the Act on Conditional Fines (1113/1990) shall apply.

Those liable to pay the fire prevention charge must pay it by the due date at the place of payment specified in the state provincial office’s decision on the said charge. A fire prevention charge due for payment is subject to a penal interest as stipulated in section 4, subsection 1 of the Interest Act (633/1982).

Debiting of the fire prevention charge

The Regional State Administrative Agency of the province in which the Finnish insurer is domiciled or the foreign insurer’s representative office is located debits the fire prevention charge and determines its due date on an annual basis. With respect to foreign EEA insurers providing insurance services in Finland on the basis of freedom of services, the charge is debited and the due date determined by the State Provincial Office of Southern Finland.

Forwarding of the fire prevention charge

The Regional State Administrative Agency must forward the fire prevention charges to the Fire Protection Fund by the end of the calendar year for which the charges have been debited. An insurance broker referred to in section 2, subsection 2 of this Act must pay the fire prevention charge on his own initiative at the place of payment determined by the Ministry of the Interior, no later than the end of the calendar year.

Limitation

The duty to pay the fire prevention charge becomes time-barred after five years from the end of the calendar year for which the state provincial office should have debited the charge.

Appealing against a decision on the debiting of a fire prevention charge

An appeal against the state provincial office’s decision on the debiting of a fire prevention charge must be filed in accordance with the stipulations of the Administrative Judicial Procedure Act (586/1996).

Despite the appeal, the fire prevention charge payable must be paid by the due date. If payment is not made by the due date, the charge may be recovered by way of distraint without a judgement or ruling, as provided in the Act on the Recovery of Taxes and Fees by Distraint (367/1961). If the charge is removed or reduced, the state provincial office or the Fire Protection Fund must refund the excess payment in accordance with a legally valid ruling made on the basis of the appeal. Interest will be paid on the amount to be refunded as stipulated in section 3, subsection 2 of the Interest Act.

Penalty

The penalty for illegal avoidance or attempted avoidance of the fire prevention charge is stipulated in chapter 29, sections 1-3 of the Penal Code of Finland (39/1889).

Allowances and other public aid

To comply with the purpose of this Act, the Fire Protection Fund may grant general or specific allowances in accordance with its funds and the annual management plan. The stipulations of the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001) are applied to the allowances granted from the Fire Protection Fund. With respect to these allowances, the Fund operates as a State aid authority referred to in the said Act. The Fire Protection Fund may grant general and specific allowances to municipalities, rescue service districts, contract fire brigades, rescue service organisations and other such corporations. The Fire Protection Fund may also grant specific allowances to other than the above for the following purposes:

1) learning material production and acquisition;
2) data processing development and hardware acquisition;
3) experimental, launch, research and development activities;
4) education and consultancy; and
5) standardisation.

Financing for projects complying with this subsection may also be granted to government offices and agencies. The Fire Protection Fund may also hand out grants and scholarships for the applicant’s personal use or for a specific project, in which case the grant or scholarship may equal the total expenses of the project.

Grants are disbursed widely

The Fire Protection Fund may grant discretionary general and special grants for fire prevention and rescue work projects. Special Grants do not generally exceed 50 % of the overall cost of the project and general grants are of up to 75 % depending on the total eligible costs. The grants are paid to the beneficiary as a rule afterwards in exchange for verifiable accounts.

The activities of the Fund are overseen by its Board of Directors

The Fire Protection Fund’s Board of Directors consists of the Chairman and a representative of the Department for Rescue Services of the Ministry of the Interior, a representative of Local Authorities, the insurance representative of the central organization and four other members. The Ministry of the Interior appoints the Chairman, members and alternate members for three-year terms at a time. The Auditor of the Fund is the auditor of the National Audit Office. The Board of Directors form a quorum when the Chairman or Vice-Chairman and at least three members or alternate vice members are present.

Contact the Secretariat

For submission of applications, applications for additions, other official documents or information requests to the Fire Protection Fund, applicants are encouraged to use the official e-mail address.
The official address of the Fund: psr (at) intermin.fi

Postal address: Fire Protection Fund, PO Box 26, 00023 Government, Finland

E-mail: firstname.lastname (at) intermin.fi

The Secretary-General Hanna Paakkolanvaara
leave of absence from 15 July 2015 till 31 December 2017
Senior Officer Johanna Herrala
tel 0295 488 460
Senior Specialist Artsi Alanne
tel 0295 488 462
Trainee Jessica Puro
tel 0295 488 463

Innovation Award

The Fire Protection Fund Board has declared in its meeting on 25 October 2016 that applications for the Innovation Award of 2017 may be sent. The Innovation Award is granted annually in recognition of a meritorious innovation in rescue work.

Its purpose is to encourage

  • rescue personnel, companies, organizations and individuals to develop new, more efficient and safer equipment, procedures and working methods, and
  • to improve the visibility and esteem of the rescue services in society.

The award may be granted to companies, organizations or individuals to develop the innovation that has significantly contributed to the above-mentioned objectives. The prize is not a lifetime achievement award.

The innovation can be

  • a piece of equipment or machinery
  • a work method
  • mode of operation or any other similar new invention

that promotes or enhances fire prevention work or fire department activity. The prize cannot be granted to an innovation concerning medical transportation, the first response system or oil pollution prevention.

The award consists of a cash prize and a certificate of merit or other memento. The cash prize may be up to 20 000 €.