Changes in services provided by Finnish missions abroad
From 1 May onwards, estate services will no longer be handled in Finnish missions abroad. Inquiries concerning addresses and extracts from the population register will be handled only for a special reason.
On 8 February 2019, a bill on the amendment of the Consular Service Act was approved at the presidential session. The Act will enter into force on 1 May 2019. The aim of the amendment is to reduce the administrative workload related to the provision of consular services.
Inquiries concerning extracts from the population register and address inquiries
From 1 May onwards, Finland's diplomatic and consular missions abroad will accept inquiries concerning addresses and extracts from the population register only for a special reason. A special reason could be, for instance, a situation in which a representative of a country's authorities would not give information to other than diplomatic agents.
Based on their duty to advice, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finnish missions abroad will continue to help clients and to give them competent local authorities' and agents' contact information. Instructions on how to get an extract from the population register or contact details can also be found on the missions' websites.
Services related to the estate of a deceased person
The provisions of the Consular Services Act applying to estate services will be repealed and estate services will no longer be handled in Finnish missions abroad. In practice, the Foreign Service has reduced its estate services and only provides local advocates' contact details and advises clients to contact local advocates or lawyers.
The proposal also sets out the option that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs could outsource certain notarial services and related support tasks laid down in the Consular Services Act to external service providers.
The aim of the amendment is to ensure that good governance materialises in the provision of consular services that fall within the purview of the Foreign Service as agreed under the government productivity programme and to streamline consular services and make them more economical and effective.
The proposal is part of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ current project concerning the development of consular services and of the Government’s key project aiming to deregulate provisions and streamline regulation processes.