Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Completing management options in the baltic sea region to reduce risk of invasive species introduction by shipping

COMPLETE is an EU INTERREG Baltic Sea Region project aimed at minimizing the introduction and spread of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens by shipping through the development of consistent and adaptive management strategies and tools for the Baltic Sea region by addressing both major vectors: ballast water and biofouling.

COMPLETE will deliver knowledge and tools to implement HELCOM’s roadmap for regional implementation of the outstanding issues on the BWMC inthe Baltic Sea  and will also assist relevant authorities in implementing Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council, aiming to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The COMPLETE project to run for 3 years (2017-2020) consists of six working packages:

  • WP1 – Project Management and Administration
  • WP2 – Guidelines for surveillance and monitoring program of non-indigenous species
  • WP3 – Ballast water risk assessment and management systems
  • WP4 – Evidence-based options for biofouling management in the Baltic Sea Region
  • WP5 – Databases and user-friendly information support
  • WP6 – Stakeholder involvement and strategy development processes

The project partners are:

  • Kotka Maritime Research Association (KMRA/FI) (Project Coordinator)
  • Klaipėda University (KU/LT)
  • Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
  • Finnish Environment Institute, Marine Research Centre (SYKE/FI)
  • University of Gdansk (UG/PL)
  • University of Helsinki, Department of Environmental Sciences (UH/FI)
  • Chalmers University of Technology (CHALMERS/SE)​
  • 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)
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology​ (LIAE/LV)

Associated organizations represent shipping companies, port authorities, governmental bodies, NGOs, and research institutions from all Baltic Sea countries.

Follow-up project: COMPLETE PLUS

COMPLETE is extended by the COMPLETE PLUS project that aims at ensuring that the outputs and tools from the initial COMPLETE project will be operationalized and implemented in a concrete manner. It will notably do so by way of outreach activities and training of all main target groups – such as shipping companies, environmental and maritime authorities, ports, contracting parties of HELCOM – in the practical implementation and real-world application of the COMPLETE outputs. A central part of this work is the elaboration of specific mechanisms and pathways for the long-term maintenance of these tools and their further sustainable use through coordination between relevant end-users.

Ballast Water Exemptions Decision Support Tool

As part of the COMPLETE project, the joint HELCOM-OSPAR Ballast Water Exemptions Decision Support Tool was updated. The tool assesses the risk of introduction of of non-indigenous species (NIS, also known as alien species) via the ballast water of ships in a simple way, yet based on the latest scientific knowledge on the occurrence and distribution of species as well as the environmental characteristics of each port. 

Watch the video about the Ballast Water Exemptions DST

More info

The work of the project can be followed at and on Twitter at @balticcomplete and #BalticComplete.


Mock Employee
Manuel Sala Pérez

Project Researcher (COMPLETE)
Tel: +358 40 167 8611

Mock Employee
Marta Ruiz

Associate Professional Secretary​
Tel: +358 40 647242