Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

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) * * * 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) ​​​​​Johanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

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).