Finnish ferry goes Swedish over snus ban

A Finnish ferry will in future sail under the Swedish flag so that it can continue to sell snus, Swedish moist tobacco.

The move comes after the European Commission threatened to fine Finland if it did not stop snus sales onboard the ferry M/S Eckerö, which sails between Grisslehamn and Berghamn in Finland’s Åland Archipelago. The sale of snus is banned throughout the EU, but Sweden is exempted from the ban.

A press release from ferry company Eckerö Linjen said that flying the Swedish flag would ensure the line’s continued existence.

The M/S Eckerö has 113 crew members, who will keep their jobs under the flag change. Eckerö Linjen also owns 96 percent of Birka Line, a listed company operating a Finnish-registered ferry, the Birka Paradise between Stockholm and Mariehamn in Åland. There are no plans for the Birka Paradise to change flags, the company said.