Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

 

Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

COMPLETE – A new project on ballast water and biofouling in the Baltic Sea region

Three-year project targets shipping’s harmful hitchhikers: invasive speciesExpected results: knowledge, strategies, and tools for environmentally friendly shippingAn ambitious project is starting its activity with a two-day kick-off meeting in Helsinki, Finland on 9–10 November. The COMPLETE project – short for “Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) to reduce risk of invasive species introduction by shipping” – is a three-year (2017-2020) EU project.COMPLETE is aimed at minimizing the introduction and spread of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens because of shipping. It will do so by developing consistent and adaptive management strategies and tools for the Baltic Sea region, addressing both major pathways of introductions via ships: ballast water and biofouling. As such, it directly addresses the objective “No introductions of alien species from ships” as well as the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive’s (MSFD) Descriptor 2: “NIS introduced as a result of human activities are at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystem”. With respect to biofouling, the project will consider not only the risk of species introduction, but also the risk of release of hazardous substances from antifouling.COMPLETE will deliver knowledge and tools to carry out HELCOM’s new roadmap for regional implementation of the outstanding issues on the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) in the Baltic Sea (, para.6.103). It will also assist relevant authorities in implementing Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council, which aims to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services. By addressing key challenges of the Baltic Sea Region, the ultimate goal of the project is to develop operational frameworks and provide user-oriented tools, in close cooperation with relevant stakeholders, in order to make shipping more environmentally friendly.The Kick-off meeting of the project, held 9-10 November in Helsinki, gathers project partners to start implementing this project. Anna-Liisa Perttilä, Environmental Co-ordinator at Finnlines Plc, provides an invited key note address.Coordination of the project is conducted by Kotka Maritime Research Association (KMRA/FI). Project partnership is formed by the following:Klaipėda University (KU/LT)Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)Finnish Environment InstituteMarine Research Centre (SYKE/FI)University of Gdansk (UG/PL)University of Helsinki, Department of Environmental Sciences (UH/FI)Chalmers University of Technology (CHALMERS/SE)Environmental Development Association (EDA/LV)Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH/DE)South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK/FI)University of Tartu (UTARTU/EE)Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association (KAT/FI)Associated organizations represent shipping companies, port authorities, governmental bodies, NGOs, and research institutions from all Baltic Sea countries. Project partners have long-term expertise and know-how in innovative solutions for shipping, risk assessment and management systems, surveillance, and monitoring. The participation of HELCOM as a full project partner will ensure involvement of relevant institutions from all Baltic Sea countries, harmonizing implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention and elaboration of the Baltic Sea Region biofouling management strategy. Further dialogue between science and managers as well as industry and other stakeholders will be established through an Advisory Board.* * *Note for editorsThe Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.During the last decade shipping has steadily increased in the Baltic Sea, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity around the region. At the same time, increasing maritime transportation threatens fragile ecosystems and the livelihoods of the many people who depend on the sea. identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer navigation. Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized implementation and enforcement of international shipping regulations.* * *For more information, please contact:Miina Karjalainen Management coordinator, COMPLETE project Kotka Maritime Research Association Tel: +358-44-5222843 E-mail: Marta Ruiz Associate Professional Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 6472424 Skype: helcom59 E-mail: marta.ruiz(at)helcom.fi 

Three-year project targets shipping’s harmful hitchhikers: invasive species – Expected results: knowledge, strategies, and tools for environmentally friendly shipping

The Baltic Sea is well prepared for the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention

IMO Ballast Water Management Convention for ships enters
into force 8 September 2017After over a decade of collaborative preparations, the
Baltic Sea region is well equipped for implementation

The International Convention for the Control and Management
of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, originally signed in 2004, enters into
force today 8 September 2017. The Baltic Sea coastal countries are well
prepared for this major milestone, as they have cooperated on technical details
of its regional implementation within HELCOM for over a decadeRound goby. Photo: Žilvinas PūtysShips’ ballast water, routinely taken on by ships for stability
and structural integrity, may carry alien species which are harmful to the
marine ecosystems and biodiversity in many ways, especially in fragile marine
areas such as the Baltic Sea. The subject of the Convention, safe management of
ships’ ballast water, has a major role in preventing this route of spreading
non-indigenous species.Based on latest HELCOM data, 14 new non-indigenous species
have appeared in the Baltic Sea for the first time during 2011–2015, with over
130 introductions in total since the 19th century”The entry into force of the Ballast Water Management
Convention is a major step for the whole world but naturally also for the
Baltic Sea region. It will also put the results of our intensive regional
preparations to a real test. However, I am confident that with all their
expertise and the work done so far, the relevant HELCOM groups are well
prepared to support to any relevant implementation issues emerging during the
next years.” says Monika Stankiewicz, HELCOM Executive Secretary.Wide collaborative efforts come to fruitionImmediately after signature of the Convention in 2004, following
the pioneering work within the Baltic Sea scientific community and the
international developments around the Convention at IMO, the HELCOM Maritime
Working Group started substantial joint work in this field by establishing a
dedicated Ballast Water Correspondence Group under the lead of FinlandSince this start, the coastal countries of the Baltic Sea
have co-operated within HELCOM, as well as together with other regional seas
cooperation structures like OSPAR, on a number of specific issues around the
foreseen implementation of the Ballast Water Convention in the Baltic Sea
regionEven if the core work is carried out at the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO), this kind of supportive region-specific cooperation
on implementation is foreseen by the Ballast Water Convention itself (Article
13.3)Examples of concrete output from the preparatory regional cooperation
within HELCOM include a comprehensive harmonised implementation procedure on
exemptions (Reg. A-4 of the Convention) with a related , released in
a renewed form this autumn; a series of regional recommendations concerning
ballast water exchange (BWM.2/Circ.14, BWM.2/Circ.22, and BWM.2/Circ.39); as
well as keeping up-to-date on new invasions by a dedicated Since 2012, the core technical work has been carried out
within a dedicated intergovernmental task group – the Joint HELCOM-OSPAR Task
Group on Ballast Water Management Convention Exemptions (HELCOM/OSPAR TG
BALLAST) – formed by the participating countries and representatives of the
shipping industry and NGOs.Future work to tackle remaining issuesOver the years, several HELCOM projects have supported this
intergovernmental dialogue with substantial input, starting from the GEF funded
Baltic Sea regional project (2003–2007). The latest of these is the project
“COMPLETE” which will further develop the regional implementation during 2017–2019,
with HELCOM involvement and co-funding from the EU Interreg programmeAs one of the latest developments, a new roadmap for
regional implementation of the outstanding issues on Ballast Water Convention
in the Baltic Sea was adopted in December 2016 by the HELCOM Heads of
Delegation (HOD), replacing the completed HELCOM roadmap from 2007The upcoming meetings of the HELCOM Maritime working group
(10–12 October 2017, St.Petersburg) and HELCOM/OSPAR TG BALLAST (16–17 November
2017, Helsinki) will provide opportunities to consider substantial issues
related to the implementation of the Ballast Water Convention in the Baltic Sea
region. This includes following up on the progress on ratifying the BWM
Convention by the remaining coastal countries.Read more:  * Note for editors:During the last decade shipping has steadily increased in
the Baltic Sea, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity
around the region. At the same time, increasing maritime transportation
threatens fragile ecosystems and the livelihoods of the many people who depend
on the seaHELCOM Maritime Working Group identifies and promotes
actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer navigation.
Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized implementation
and enforcement of international shipping regulationsHELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the
nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its
primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the
Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime
navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention  * For more information, please contact:Hermanni Backer
Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groups
HELCOM
Tel:  +358 46 8509199
Skype: helcom02
E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi​

IMO Ballast Water Management Convention for ships enters into force 8 September 2017

HELCOM, CBSS and stakeholders join forces to catalyse sustainable shipping in the Baltic Sea

The first meeting of the HELCOM GREEN TEAM strives to
advance sustainable shipping technology and new fuels in the region by
considering effective incentivesJoint session with HELCOM, CBSS, other regional
organisations, and stakeholders considers direction of regional efforts

Promoting sustainable shipping technology and new fuels in
the Baltic Sea is the theme of a full day event co-organised by HELCOM today,
Tuesday 5 September 2017, on the Island of Donsö in the Gothenburg archipelago.
 hoto: ShutterstockThe event is a part of the HELCOM commitment given in the UN
Ocean Conference in July 2017 to follow up the recent regulatory developments
in the Baltic Sea region, including restrictions to nitrogen oxide (NOx)
emissions from ships’ exhaust gases through a NOx Emission Control Area (NECA)The day will kick off with the first meeting of the HELCOM
Maritime Sub-group on Green Technology and Alternative Fuels for Shipping
(GREEN TEAM). The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) expert group
on maritime policy will meet in parallelThe afternoon will feature a dedicated session on a joint
regional agenda for green shipping, technology, and alternative fuels. At the
joint session, the nearly 70 registered participants from the networks of
HELCOM, CBSS, and a number of other participating organisations, as well as
other stakeholders, will consider past progress and identify priorities for
future regional workJust as the HELCOM GREEN TEAM sub-group in general (c.f. and ), the event is intended as a wide cooperation platform which is
open for public sector institutions and governments, maritime business, as well
as civil society (NGOs) interested in working together to advance sustainable
shipping technology and new fuels in the regionThe regional day is organised at the , the
largest shipping event in Sweden* * Note for editors:HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the
nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its
primary aims as the governing body of the Helsinki Convention are to protect
the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollutionThis includes pollution from ships and safe maritime
navigation, fields where the work involves regional dimensions of IMO
regulations and initiatives. The full official name of HELCOM is the Baltic
Marine Environment Protection CommissionHELCOM Maritime Working Group of HELCOM identifies and
promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer
navigation. Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized
implementation and enforcement of international shipping regulationsThe Maritime group has a number of advisory expert bodies
including the HELCOM-OSPAR Task Group on Ballast Water Management (regional
dimensions of implementing the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention), Expert
group on safety of navigation, Working group for mutual exchange and deliveries
of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, Green technology and Alternative
Fuels Platform for Shipping (GREEN TEAM), and HELCOM Cooperation Platform on
Port Reception Facilities (PRF)* * For more information, please contact:Anna PeterssonGREEN TEAM co-chair
Chair of HELCOM Maritime group
Head of Environment Section
Swedish Transport Agency
Tel: +46 10 4953 249
E-mail: anna.petersson(at)transportstyrelsen.se nita
Mäkinen
GREEN TEAM co-chairChief
Adviser to the Director General, Maritime Sector
Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TraFi)
Tel: +358 40 1624592
E-mail: anita.makinen(at)trafi.f ermanni
BackerProfessional
Secretary for Maritime, Response and FisHELCOTel: +358 46 850919Skype:
helcom0E-mail:
hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi

The first meeting of the HELCOM GREEN TEAM strives to advance sustainable shipping technology and new fuels in the region by considering effective incentives.

HELCOM and OSPAR release new online ballast water risk assessment tool

A new online risk assessment tool for non-indigenous species transfers via the ballast water of commercial ships has been released jointly by and .The new provides an online application to run the latest version of the risk
assessment method for ballast water introductions in the Baltic and the larger
North-East Atlantic area. It replaces the previous version from July 2014 and
includes several major improvements.Upon submitting information on the species observed in the departure and
destination ports, the website allows national maritime administrations and
ship owners to quickly identify routes that may qualify for exemptions to the
application of ballast water management for ships, and those that are unlikely
to. Interest in such exemptions is growing as the IMO Convention on Ballast
Water Management enters into force in September this year.The underlying risk assessment method was
originally adopted by the 21 member states and EU within OSPAR and HELCOM in
2013. It is as a part of the comprehensive “Joint Harmonised Procedure” on
granting exemptions from ballast water treatment provisions of the 2004
International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water
and Sediments () of the International Maritime Organisation ().Based on the IMO (G7) guidelines on granting exemptions under the BWM
Convention and provisions promoting regional cooperation, the joint harmonised
procedure specifies the procedure for granting exemptions (G7) and undertaking
risk assessments.The overall aim is to help protect the environment by identifying routes
that could present a high risk for the transfer of non-indigenous species. It
will also save both the shipping industry and maritime authorities time and
money by bringing transparency and clarity to the decision making process
around exemptions from the provisions of ballast water management.Currently the online tool includes only port sampling data from ports in
Europe. However, the tool and the underlying approach could also be used for
other sea areas in the world.The tool can be found on the address .* * *Note for editors:

The development of the tool is since 2012 supported by the Joint Task Group
on Ballast Water Exemptions (TG BALLAST) consisting of the Contracting Parties
of both Conventions and which is also open to official observer organisation
from both the shipping and environmental fields. TG BALLAST reports to the
HELCOM Maritime Group within HELCOM and OSPAR EIHA Committee within OSPAR.

The Maritime Group of HELCOM (), the parent group of the TG BALLAST within the HELCOM framework, identifies
and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and ways for safer navigation
in the Baltic Sea. It also works to ensure enforcement and harmonized
implementation of IMOs international shipping regulations in accordance to the
1992 Helsinki Convention.The OSPAR Environmental Impacts of Humans Activities Committee (EIHA), the
parent group of the TG BALLAST within the OSPAR framework, works to reduce the
impact of human activities in the North East Atlantic.In order to run the risk assessment model the online tool comprises a
database on observations of alien species and physical features in ports, lists
of target alien species for the two regions as well as a risk assessment
algorithm. Live links are provided to several existing scientific databases in
order to provide most recent information on for example the environmental
tolerance of species.* * * For more information, please contact:Hermanni Backer Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groups HELCOM Tel: +358 46 8509199 E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fiMarta RuizAssociate Professional SecretaryHELCOM> +358 40 6472424 >E-mail: marta.ruiz(at)helcom.fi

A new online risk assessment tool for non-indigenous species transfers via the ballast water of commercial ships has been released jointly by HELCOM and OSPAR.

Clean Baltic Sea shipping in sight

HELCOM Maritime receives Baltic Sea Fund Prize 2017 and contributes to award debate on the future of alternative fuels in shipping.HELCOM launches the first meeting of the GREEN TEAM group, to take further steps to shape the future of clean shipping and alternative fuels in the Baltic Sea.Baltic Sea NECA, and the GREEN TEAM as its follow up, registered by HELCOM as a voluntary commitment for the United Nations Ocean Conference 5-9 June 2017.The future of clean shipping and alternative fuels in the Baltic Sea will be debated today in Mariehamn, Finland at a seminar organised on the occasion of the Baltic Sea Fund prize 2017. The day will also feature the award of the main Prize to the HELCOM Maritime Working group, first announced in 12 April.At the seminar the Chair of HELCOM Maritime, Anna Petersson (Swedish Transport Agency) and Vice Chairs Natalia Kutaeva (Marine Rescue Service of Rosmorrechflot) and Jorma Kämäräinen (Finnish Transport Safety Agency) will present the groups achievements and future work, as well as participate in a panel debate -with a focus on the future of alternative fuels in shipping.The other speakers and panellists will include Ville Niinistö, Member of Parliament and former Minister of the Environment (Finland), Ulf Hagström Senior Vice President of Viking Line and Alef Jansson Director Goodtech Environment.The main Prize was justified by the contributions of the HELCOM Maritime Working group to the recent regulatory developments in the region, namely restrictions to Nox emissions from ships exhaust gases and sewage discharges from passenger ships.In order to follow up the recent developments and accelerate regional work on green shipping technology and alternative fuels HELCOM has launched a public-private platform (HELCOM GREEN TEAM).The first meeting of the group will take place on Tuesday 5 September 2017 on the Island of Donsö in the Gothenburg archipelago back to back with the Donsö Shipping Meet 2017.HELCOM has also highlighted the work on the Baltic Sea NOx Emission Control Area for ships, and the GREEN TEAM as its follow up, by making a voluntary commitment registered for the . * * *Note for editorsHELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as the governing body of the Helsinki Convention are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution. This includes pollution from ships and safe maritime navigation, fields where the work involves regional dimensions of IMO regulations and initiatives. The full official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.HELCOM Maritime Working Group of HELCOM identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer navigation. Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized implementation and enforcement of international shipping regulations.The Maritime group has a number of advisory expert bodies including the HELCOM-OSPAR Task Group on Ballast Water Management (regional dimensions of implementing the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention), Expert group on safety of navigation, Working group for mutual exchange and deliveries of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, Green technology and Alternative Fuels Platform for Shipping (GREEN TEAM), and HELCOM Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities (PRF).The Åland Foundation for the Future of the Baltic Sea, also known as , was founded in 1989 through a private donation of half a million euro. The initiator and donator was Councillor of Commerce Anders Wiklöf.* * *For more information, please contact:Hermanni Backer>Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish>HELCOM>Tel:  +358 46 8509199>Skype: helcom02>E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi

HELCOM Maritime receives Baltic Sea Fund Prize 2017 and contributes to award debate on the future of alternative fuels in shipping.

Mapping the use of regional HELCOM AIS data on ships

The current and future uses of the regional HELCOM AIS data were discussed in a dedicated open seminar this week at the HELCOM Secretariat. The open event, part of recent fast developments around one of the first regional AIS data networks, was attended by researchers, national AIS data experts and companies.Since the launch in 2005 the HELCOM AIS network has enabled the HELCOM Contracting Parties (Denmark, Estonia, European Union (EMSA), Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden) as well as Norway to share the live Automatic Identification System (AIS) data received by their national base stations. It has also generated a unique regional database on historic ship movements in the Baltic Sea.The network itself, and the resulting data, is overseen by the dedicated HELCOM Expert Working Group on AIS and data, meeting annually since 2002. The network server is, since this year, hosted by Norway.AIS data from this regional network is increasingly used for various purposes extending far beyond operational safety of navigation, including analysing emissions from ships and enabling accidental spill risk assessments in the Baltic Sea.However, the wider HELCOM community, especially research, has only recently been able to use this valuable information in full, due to the lack of joint and openly available data processing methods, tools and definitions. Examples of such products include traffic density maps which can be used for various purposes from Maritime Spatial Planning, safety and environmental policy. The same issues are facing AIS data users around the world.The seminar debated different approaches and uses of AIS data in order to support the development of the needed joint and open data processing methods, tools and definitions for the HELCOM community and beyond.* * Note for editorsHELCOM AIS Working Group is a sub-group of the HELCOM Maritime Working Group. It governs the regional AIS network and meets annually since 2002.HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as the governing body of the Helsinki Convention are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution. This includes pollution from ships and safe maritime navigation, fields where the work involves regional dimensions of IMO regulations and initiatives. The full official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.* * *For more information, please contact:Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary for Maritime, Response and FishHELCOMTel:  +358 46 8509199Skype: helcom02E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi ​

The current and future uses of the regional HELCOM AIS data were discussed in a dedicated open seminar this week at the HELCOM Secretariat.

Leaflet out on cleaner ships’ exhaust gases in the Baltic

​​​​What does the new Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) regulations for ships – so-called “Baltic NECA” – mean for shipping and for the marine environment?What will change? And why is NOx a problem?HELCOM has ​released a new about the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) regulations for ships, also touching upon the earlier schemes for limiting harmful emissions such as Sulphur Oxide (SOx). The leaflet explains in a short and concise form the main features related to the recent decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), upon HELCOM countries’ proposal, to limit ships’ NOx emissions in the Baltic Sea. A similar NOx Emission Control Area (NECA) proposal from the North Sea countries also passed late last month.NOx emissions from shipping are important from a marine environment perspective since they are a major source of airborne deposition of nitrogen, worsening nutrient pollution – and therefore eutrophication – which is a serious environmental concern for the Baltic Sea. The NECA regulations, approved by the IMO in October 2016, are expected to be adopted in May 2017. These foreseen NECA regulations target new ships built in or after 2021 but not the existing ships.According to recent estimates, the reduction in annual total nitrogen deposition to the Baltic Sea region, compared to a non-NECA scenario, will be 22,000 tonnes after a time lag – as a combined effect of the Baltic and North Seas NECAs. Out of this total anticipated reduction, 7,000 tonnes is estimated to be reduced from direct deposition to the Baltic Sea surface and the remaining 15,000 tonnes a decrease from deposition to the terrestrial areas draining to Baltic Sea. An undetermined share of the latter will end up to the Baltic Sea.You can download the leaflet .For a print version, please contact the HELCOM Secretariat at helcom.secretariat(at)helcom.fi. * * * Note for editorsHELCOM Maritime Working identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer navigation. Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized implementation and enforcement of international shipping regulations.The Maritime group includes the HELCOM-OSPAR Task on Ballast Water Management (regional dimensions of implementing the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention), Expert on safety of navigation, Working for mutual exchange and deliveries of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, Green technology and Alternative Fuels for Shipping, and HELCOM Cooperation on Port Reception Facilities (PRF). is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groupsHELCOMTel:  +358 46 8509199Skype: helcom02E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi ​​​​​Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi

HELCOM has released a new leaflet about the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) regulations for ships also touching upon the earlier schemes for limiting harmful airborne emissions such as Sulphur Oxide (SOx).

Shipping sector cuts Nitrogen loads to the Baltic Sea

​​​​​​IMO agrees with HELCOM countries’ proposal to limit ships’ NOx emissions in the Baltic SeaSimilar NECA proposal from the North Sea countries also passedIn the Baltic Sea area, expected annual Nitrogen load reductions resulting from both North and Baltic Sea NECAs will be 22,000 tons in two decades International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed to limit Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from ships’ exhaust gases in the Baltic Sea as proposed by HELCOM countries. A similar proposal from the North Sea countries was approved at the same 70th meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), ending today. After final confirmations at the next MEPC meeting in spring 2017, these two decisions will create a larger Nitrogen Emission Control Area (NECA) for new ships built in or after 2021.​”This would not have happened if we hadn’t worked together and developed a robust, scientifically based and comprehensive application,” concludes Anna Petersson, Chair of the HELCOM Maritime Working Group. Photo: Shutterstock​NOx emissions from shipping is a major source of airborne deposition of Nitrogen, aggravating nutrient pollution or eutrophication which is one of the main environmental concerns in the Baltic. The initiative to cut this source of pollution by a Baltic Sea NECA under MARPOL Annex VI emerges from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action , agreed by the nine coastal countries and the EU ten years ago in 2007.”This is a remarkable moment. The Baltic Sea countries and EU have collectively arrived to the goal of establishing a Baltic Sea NECA, proving an undeniable success in joint cooperation. Even better, we did this together with the North Sea which multiplies the benefits for the Baltic Sea,” says Anita Mäkinen on behalf of Finland, the lead country of the Baltic NECA application process.”This is a good example of how the close cooperation between the Baltic and North Seas can help us achieve something bigger than what would be possible in one region alone,” adds Ditte Kristensen on behalf of Denmark, co-lead of the North Sea NECA application together with the Netherlands. “Estimated cut in airborne deposition is significant”According to fresh estimates by European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (), consisting of deposition modelling based on available emission scenarios (Jonson et al 2015), the annual reduction in total Nitrogen deposition to the Baltic Sea area will be 22,000 tons as a combined effect of the Baltic and North Seas NECAs and compared to a non-NECA scenario. However, a lengthy period of fleet renewal is needed before the regulation will show full effect.Out of this total anticipated reduction in Nitrogen deposition, 7,000 tons is estimated to be reduction from direct deposition to the Baltic Sea surface and the remaining 15,000 tons is estimated to be reduced from deposition to the landmass draining to Baltic Sea, also called its catchment area.”Over the last decades we have monitored Nitrogen deposition from airborne emissions of human activities contributing to the eutrophication of the Baltic, from agriculture to shipping. The estimated cut in airborne deposition due to these new NECA designations is a significant share of the total airborne load,” says Jerzy Bartnicki, from EMEP.”Scenarios and modelling on shipping in the two regions show that NOx emissions are likely to increase without NECA designations,” adds Jukka-Pekka Jalkanen from the Finnish Meteorological , who have provided ship emission modelling for the Baltic Sea NECA application.The HELCOM Country Allocated Reduction Target () scheme has divided a total load reduction commitment of 118,000 tons Nitrogen, and 15,000 tons Phosphorus among the coastal countries. Implementation of the scheme will result in curbing eutrophication problem in the Baltic. The estimated 7,000 ton reduction in Nitrogen deposition to the surface of the Baltic Sea alone is more than the total Nitrogen reduction commitment of an average Baltic Sea coastal country within the HELCOM scheme of national commitments. In other words, five out of nine coastal countries have a total annual reduction quota for Nitrogen loads which is less than 7,000 tons.Other positive effectsBesides cutting emissions, the new regulations will have many indirect positive effects for the Baltic Sea marine environment. The new NECAs will likely increase the use of green shipping technology and alternative fuels such as LNG, and in general catalyse technological innovations in the field of green shipping. Voluntary schemes for existing ships will be essential to achieve additional NOx emission reductions.The Baltic Sea was designated as a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in 1998 based on a similar proposal, also developed within HELCOM Maritime Working during the 1990s. In 2015 the enforcement of the 0,1% sulphur limit for fuel oil under the SECA led to drastic 88% reductions in SOx emissions from shipping in the Baltic Sea region compared with 2014, as estimated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and reported by Finland to the HELCOM Maritime Working Group in September. The IMO meeting this week agreed that a global 0,5% limit in fuel oil sulphur content should be applied from 2020.”This is truly a milestone which will have genuine positive effects on the unique marine ecosystem of the Baltic Sea area. The regional cooperation within the HELCOM framework has certainly proven to be very successful – this would not have happened if we hadn’t worked together and developed a robust, scientifically based and comprehensive application,” concludes Anna Petersson, Chair of the HELCOM Maritime Working Group.”The recently adopted prohibition of discharge of sewage from passenger ships together with the approval of the designation of the Baltic Sea as a NECA are two fantastic achievements that marks the end of many years of hard work and dedication from the Baltic Sea states,” she continues. * * * Note for editorsHELCOM Maritime Working identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer navigation. Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized implementation and enforcement of international shipping regulations. The Maritime group includes the HELCOM-OSPAR Task Group on Ballast Water Management (regional dimensions of implementing the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention), Expert group on safety of navigation, Working group for mutual exchange and deliveries of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, and HELCOM Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities (PRF). is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Anita Mäkinen Chief Adviser to the Director General, Maritime Sector Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TraFi) Tel: +358 40 1624592 E-mail: anita.makinen(at)trafi.fiDitte Kristensen Technical Advisor Danish Environmental Protection Agency Tel: +45 72544107 E-mail: ditkr(at)mst.dkHermanni Backer Professional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groups HELCOM Tel:  +358 46 8509199 E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi​​

IMO agrees with HELCOM countries’ proposal to limit ships’ NOx emissions in the Baltic Sea. In the Baltic Sea area, major cuts in Nitrogen loads are expected as a result from both North and Baltic Sea NECAs.

A new era for HELCOM cooperation on ballast water

​​​​​Fifth HELCOM country – Finland – ratified last week the Ballast Water Management Convention for shipsThis fulfilled the world-wide criteria​ for entry into force in 2017 of the global treaty to help prevent the spread of invasive speciesThis is a significant milestone in the work against invasive aquatic species to the Baltic Sea, which can damage marine ecosystems, affect biodiversity and lead to economic loss​A likely ballast water introduction, fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi), has spread in the Baltic Sea since 1990s. It is classified by IUCN among the 100 worst invasive species of the world. Photo: Dr. Igor Grigorovich, University of Windsor, Canada​The regional work of HELCOM on ships management enters a new era as the fifth country of the nine Baltic coastal states, Finland, informed of the ratification of the International for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments on 8 September 2016.  The subject of this Convention, safe management of ships’ ballast water, has a major role in preventing the spread of non-indigenous, potentially harmful species, especially in fragile marine areas such as the Baltic Sea. The Convention was originally signed in 2004. The accession by Finland has global importance as it triggers the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention on a global scale. The Convention stipulates that it will enter into force 12 months after the ratification by a minimum of 30 States, representing 35% of world merchant shipping gross tonnage. The Finnish ratification fulfilled the remaining tonnage criteria. The Convention will thus enter into force globally on 8 September 2017. Ships’ ballast water, routinely taken on by ships for stability and structural integrity, may carry alien species which are harmful to the marine ecosystems and biodiversity in many ways. “As the maritime transport increases in the Baltic Sea this means that the risk of arrivals of non-native species also grows. In an area so susceptible for environmental damage it is thus highly welcome that the Convention on ballast water will finally enter into force,” says Monika Stankiewicz, HELCOM Executive Secretary. “Over 120 non-native aquatic species have been recorded in the Baltic Sea to date, and a large share of these have established themselves on a more or less permanent basis. HELCOM has actively and strenuously worked on ballast water issues so it is heart-warming that the global turning point has been sparked from our region,” she continues.  Following the pioneering work within the Baltic Sea scientific community and the international developments around the Convention at IMO, the HELCOM Maritime Working started substantial joint work in 2004 by establishing a dedicated Ballast Water Correspondence Group under the lead of Finland. Several HELCOM projects, starting from the GEF funded Baltic Sea regional project (2003-2007), have supported the intergovernmental dialogue with substantial input. This kind of region-specific cooperation on implementation, supporting the global work at IMO, is enabled by the Ballast Water Convention (Article 13.3). Since 2004, the coastal countries of the Baltic Sea have co-operated within HELCOM, and together with other regional seas cooperation structures like OSPAR, on a number of specific issues around the foreseen implementation of the Ballast Water Convention. Examples of concrete output from this decade on preparatory cooperation include a detailed (Reg. A-4 of the Convention) and a , a series of regional recommendations concerning ballast water exchange (,
,
and ) as well as keeping up-to date on .  During its last on 6-8 September 2016, the HELCOM Maritime group drafted a new roadmap for regional implementation of the outstanding issues on Ballast Convention in the Baltic Sea. This new draft roadmap is intended to replace the earlier HELCOM roadmap from 2007 which has been largely accomplished as of today. Read more:8 September 2016: Global treaty to halt invasive aquatic species to enter into force in 2017 8 September 2016, Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland: ​​​Finland ratifies International Convention for the Management of Ships’ Ballast Water on Alien Species and Ballast water management in the Baltic Sea * * * Note for editorsDuring the last decade shipping has steadily increased in the Baltic Sea, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity around the region. At the same time, increasing maritime transportation threatens fragile ecosystems and the livelihoods of the many people who depend on the sea. HELCOM Maritime identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and finds ways for safer navigation. Established in 1975, the group also deals with the harmonized implementation and enforcement of international shipping regulations.  The Joint HELCOM-OSPAR Task Group on Ballast Water Management Convention Exemptions (HELCOM/OSPAR TG BALLAST)—formed by the participating countries, shipping industry and NGOs—has since 2012 been a successful joint forum for intergovernmental dialogue on Ballast water issues in Northern European Seas. HELCOM is an intergovernmental organization made up of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union. Founded in 1974, its primary aims as a governing body are to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution, as well as to ensure safe maritime navigation. The official name of HELCOM is the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission; it is the governing body of the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groupsHELCOMTel:  +358 46 8509199Skype: helcom02E-mail: hermanni.backer(at)helcom.fi Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi

Fifth HELCOM country, Finland, has ratified the Ballast Water Management Convention for ships. The global treaty will enter into force next year – a significant milestone in the work against invasive aquatic species.

Baltic Sea Clean Shipping Guide released

​​​​​​​​New and extended version of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Clean Shipping guide has been released in both electronic and print form.

The publication, aimed at all mariners at sea, gives a concise and easily understandable overview of the regional environmental and safety of navigation measures applied in the Baltic Sea to maritime traffic.

The focus of the Baltic Sea Clean Shipping Guide is on commercial shipping which have to comply with the rules of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

However, some of the material are also relevant for smaller ships such as fishing boats, working vessels and pleasure craft. Even if specific coastal countries or ports may have deviating practices, the content should represent the regional best practice.

For detailed and authoritative information on requirements, please consult the original documents published by IMO, HELCOM or other referred organization. Navigation on the Baltic Sea area has always been of great importance to the people living around it. The Baltic Sea Clean Shipping Guide, or Clean Seas Guide, was first published in 2009 and previously revised in 2004, 2009 and 2012.

Sail clean and safe on the Baltic!

For a print version, please contact the HELCOM Secretariat at info(at)helcom.fi.

Note for editors

The Maritime Working of HELCOM, originally established in 1975, identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and ways for safer navigation. It also works to ensure enforcement and harmonized implementation of international shipping regulations. Its sub-groups include the HELCOM-OSPAR Task Group on Ballast Water Management (regional dimensions of implementing the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention), Expert Group on Safety of Navigation, Working Group for Mutual Exchange and Deliveries of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, Green Technology and Alternative Fuels Platform, and HELCOM Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities (PRF). The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.

The publication is aimed at all mariners at sea and gives a general overview of the regional environmental and safety of navigation measures applied in the Baltic Sea to maritime traffic.