One of the most important duties of the Helsinki Commission is to make Recommendations on measures to address certain pollution sources or areas of concern. These Recommendations are to be implemented by the Contracting Parties through their national legislation. Since the beginning of the 1980s HELCOM has adopted some 260 HELCOM Recommendations for the protection of the Baltic Sea.
Another important duty of HELCOM is to follow up the implementation of the Convention and HELCOM Recommendations. Reporting facilitates the assessment of the status of implementation of required measures in the Contracting Parties providing information also on the effectiveness and gaps of the requirements.
According to Article 16 of the 1992 Helsinki Convention the Contracting Parties shall report to the Commission at regular intervals on:
a) The legal, regulatory, or other measures taken for the implementation of the provisions of this Convention, of its Annexes and of recommendations adopted there under;
b) The effectiveness of the measures taken to implement the provisions referred to in sub-paragraph a) of this paragraph; and
c) Problems encountered in the implementation of the provisions referred to in sub-paragraph a) of this paragraph.