Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

WG Maritime

HELCOM Maritime Working Group

The HELCOM Maritime Working Group (WG Maritime) works to prevent any pollution from ships – including deliberate operational discharges as well as accidental pollution.

Increasing maritime transportation threatens fragile ecosystems and the livelihoods of the many people who depend on the sea. During the last decade shipping has steadily increased, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity around the Baltic Sea region. Between 2020 and 2021, an average of 1457 IMO-registered ships were at sea each day, including hundreds of tankers carrying oil or other potentially harmful products. It is estimated that the transportation of goods by sea will continue to increase in the Baltic region. General cargo and container traffic is expected to triple, and oil transportation may increase by 40%. The expansion and construction of oil terminals on the shores of the Gulf of Finland and regional economic growth may lead to even higher increases in shipping.

Shipping is an international business that needs international regulations. All ships sailing the Baltic have to comply with the strict global and regional regulations, regardless of whatever flag they are sailing under.

WG Maritime works to:

  • ensure that adopted regulations are observed and enforced effectively and uniformly through close international co-operation
  • identify and promote actions to limit sea-based pollution while ensuring safe navigation.

The Maritime Working Group organises regular meetings involving representatives from inter-governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, maritime transportation authorities and pollution incident response organisations.

The group works closely together with other international bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ensure that international measures are properly applied and implemented in the Baltic  or the Regional Seas Programme (RSP)  and the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) under UNEP to address the problem of marine litter both at regional as well as global level.


Action areas


Mock Employee
Susanne Heitmüller

Chair of WG Maritime
German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH)

Mock Employee
Markus Helavuori

Professional Secretary
HELCOM Secretariat
+358 40 162 6520

Mock Employee
Natalia Kutaeva

Vice-Chair of  WG Maritime

FBI “Marine Rescue Service of Rosmorrechflot” (MRS), Russia
Marine Environment Protection Division

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