Intergovernmental and international non-governmental organisations may apply for observer status to the Helsinki Commission. An organisation must show that it can contribute to matters dealt with by HELCOM, that it has a membership in a wide number of the Baltic Coastal States and an organised internal structure. HELCOM may also invite any state, not party to the Helsinki Convention, to be represented at its meetings.
At present HELCOM has an extensive network of observers contributing actively to the protection of the Baltic Sea.
Observers at HOD 37/2012 meeting in Trelleborg, Sweden.