Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

HELCOM BALEX and other exercises

Response Exercises

In order to ensure the co-operation in case of a pollution incident the HELCOM Contracting Parties regularly carry out exercises. The exercises range from “paper” exercises to operational exercises.   

Most famous are the BALEX exercises, which test the procedures documented in the HELCOM Response Manual and response capability of the Contracting Parties in case of a major accident and an international response operation.

The general objective of the BALEX exercises is to ensure that every Contracting Party is able to lead a major response operation.

BALEX exercises take place each year since late 1980s and are hosted by the Contracting Parties according to a schedule agreed on by the HELCOM Response Working Group. The results of the exercises are also reported to and discussed at the Response Working Group meetings.

List of HELCOM BALEX DELTA Exercises Since 1990

2024Lithuania, Klaipeda, 26-29 August 2024
2023Latvia, Gulf of Riga, 30 August-1 September 2023
​Germany, Mecklenburg Bay, 23-25 August 2022 (HNS, oil, shore) (watch film)
​Finland, 7 countries and the EU, 17 ships, 2 aircraft (watch film)
​​2020​Estonia (only at sea due to COVID -19); 6 countries and the EU, 14 ships, 1 aircraft, 1 helicopter (watch film)
​2019​Denmark (oil; shore); 8 countries
​2018​Sweden (oil and chemical; shore and OWR); 8 countries and the EU, 18 ships, 1 aircraft, 1 helicopter. Read more on
​2017​Russia (oil; shore); 5 countries, 16 ships, 3 helicopters (press release)
​2016​Lithuania (oil; shore), 8 countries, 14 ships (press release)
​2015​Poland (oil; shore), 8 countries, 21 ships (watch film)
​2014​Latvia (oil; shore), 7 countries, 16 ships, 1 aircraft, 1 helicopter (watch film)
​2013​Germany (oil;  towing) 8 countries + EMSA, 23 ships, 2 aircraft, 1 helicopter
​2012​Finland  (oil; shore and OWR) 7 countries + EMSA, 20 ships (see more​)
​2011​Denmark (oil; shore and OWR) 8 countries + EMSA, 14 ships, 1 aircraft
​2010Lithuania; 7 countries + EMSA, 7 ships (watch film)
​2009​Latvia (oil) 5 countries + EMSA, 9 ships
​2008​Russia (oil, SAR, fire fight) 6 countries +EMSA, 17 ships, 2 helicopters
​2007​Estonia (oil) 6 countries + EMSA, 17 ships, 1 helicopter (watch film)
​2006Poland (oil) 7 countries + EMSA, 23 ships, 3 aircraft (watch film)
​2005​Sweden (oil) 7 countries, 19 ships, 2 aircraft (watch film)
​2004​Germany (oil) 6 countries, 11 ships, 1 aircraft (watch film)
​2003​Finland (oil) 5 countries, 16 ships
​2002​Latvia (oil) 6 countries, 18 ships, 2 aircraft
​2001​Denmark (oil) 7 countries, 11 ships, 2 aircraft
​2000​Russia (oil; shore) 5 countries, 12 ships, 1 aircraft
​1999​Lithuania (oil;  shore)
​1998​Poland (HNS)
​1997​Estonia (oil)
​1996​Sweden (HNS)
​1995​Germany (oil)
​1994​Finland (oil; ice conditions)
​1993​Germany (oil ; aircraft control)
​1992​USSR (oil:  rescue/salvage )
​1991​Denmark (oil; offshore installations)
​1990​Poland (oil)