In Finland’s foreign trade, sea transport has an essential role. By Sea (in 2015) were transported 91 % of exports, 78 % of imports and 83 % of all foreign trade freight transport.
International maritime transport market is wide open, but on the other hand the competition was uneven until the end of the 90th century due to so-called comfort flags and different registers. In order to be able to compete, EU member states agreed in 1995 on common maritime state aid guidelines, which have stopped the transition of tonnage to comfort flag countries. This measure had led to an increase in tonnage in countries, which have adopted these guidelines in their legislation.
The main types of maritime business are liner traffic and tramp traffic.