In Finland the Accident Investigation Board investigates all waterborne traffic accidents that have occurred:
- in Finland's territorial waters or
- in which a Finnish vessel have been involved.
- In addition, incidents in waterborne traffic can also be investigated.
An accident in which a leisure boat has been involved will only be investigated if the investigation is considered useful for improving safety and preventing new accidents.
The purpose of waterborne accident and incident investigation is the prevention of accidents. It is not the purpose of waterborne accident investigation or the investigation report to apportion blame or to assign responsibility. Use of the report for reasons other than improvement of safety should be avoided.
The statutory basis of accident investigation in Finland is the Safety Investigation Act (525/2011). The investigations are carried out in accordance with the principles stated in the IMO Code for the investigation of maritime casualties and incidents, agreed upon in resolutions A.849(20) and A.884(21) as well as in EU directive 1999/35/EC on a system of mandatory surveys for the safe operation of regular ro-ro ferry and high speed passenger craft services. In the reporting of accident investigations, the Accident Investigation Board follows an established form and the investigations are published either in separate publications or in the publication series "Waterborne traffic accidents and incidents".