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Enjoy the scenery and keep the area tidy – The border area is maintained in close cooperation between Finland and Norway

The border between Finland and Norway includes the maintenance of an open area on the border, the border corridor. The border corridor runs for about 400 kilometres along the state boundary and is five metres wide. When the state boundary is reviewed, trees and other vegetation that obstruct the view are removed from the corridor. Vegetation less than half a metre high is left in place.

This is how the border corridor area looks like. According to an agreement between Finland and Norway, the reindeer fence runs along the national border.
This is how the border corridor area looks like. According to an agreement between Finland and Norway, the reindeer fence runs along the national border.
The National Land Survey of Finland

“The maintenance and clearing work is closely linked to the unambiguous nature of the state boundary, which means that we, together with the Norwegian Border Authority Kartverket, will ensure that the border is clearly marked and distinguishable from the rest of the terrain," says Jyrki Lämsä, a member of the state boundary review delegation from the National Land Survey of Finland. 

In addition to the border corridor, the state boundary can be identified by signs and yellow border markers. 

Don’t move the stones

When working on state boundary review, the delegation sometimes encounters things that do not belong in the border corridor. Some kind of permanent structure may have been built on it, or objects belonging to someone’s property may have been moved into the boundary corridor for some reason. In these situations, the owners of the structures and items will be notified that the matter needs to be dealt with.

“Of course, you are free to move around the corridor, visit at the border markers and, for example, have a cup of coffee at the border marker. However, border markers and signs must not be tampered with. It is forbidden to remove the stones," says Jyrki Lämsä. The heart stones in the border markers are protected by Norwegian law.

There may be exceptional circumstances that lead to changes in border crossings.

“In general, the Schengen Agreement allows citizens to cross the land border between Finland and Norway at any point, but for example during the Covid19 restrictions the border could only be crossed at marked points. The authorities will, of course, inform separately about exceptional situations," says Jyrki Lämsä. 

Näin ei saa tehdä. Leirintävarusteiden kiinnittäminen rajakiviin ja kivien siirtely on kielletty.
This is not allowed. You cannot attach your camping equipment to the border marker or move the stones around. Image: Kartverket


Keep the area tidy

A good rule of thumb when walking along the border between Norway and Finland is to respect the environment: do not touch the border stones and keep the area tidy. If someone notices buildings or objects that do not belong at the border area, one can report them to the Border Guard using an online form.

“Most of the state boundary between Finland and Norway is in difficult terrain and far from anything, which means that in practice you see very little man-made waste or structures in the area. On the other hand, you see construction waste related to reindeer fences," says Lämsä. According to an agreement between the two countries, the reindeer fence runs along the national border. 

Rajapyykkejä huolletaan kesäkauden aikana.
The border markers are maintained during the field work season. Image: National Land Survey of Finland

The work continues in summer 2024

The state boundary review every 25 years is a part of good relations between neighbours and the work will continue next summer. Delegations from Finland and Norway will carry out the work under the leadership of the foreign ministries, and the results will be documented for joint use by the foreign ministries.

The NLS participates in the demarcation process by adopting an operative role. In practice, NLS employees participate in surveying and other fieldwork, documentation and communication. The Finnish Border Guard takes care of maintenance, including the repair of any boundary markers that have collapsed or are in need of new paint.

"This is the third summer of the review, when we will be maintaining the border structures, such as the border markers, and clearing the area to keep the border corridor tidy. Of course, maintenance work is also carried out between border reviews," says Major General Matti Sarasmaa of the Finnish Border Guard.

For further information

Jyrki Lämsä, Head of Mapping, 040 524 2508, 

State boundaries of Finland 

Press release

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