Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Workshop in Russia advances NECA for ships in Baltic and North Seas

​​​Russian Federation hosts a this week on Baltic Sea and North Sea NECAs in St. Petersburg, to advance the action after the decision by the countries of both sea areas to apply in parallel for a NECA status from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). When enforced, the Emission Control Areas (ECA) for Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), will considerably limit the polluting emissions from ships.Group photo of the workshop participants. Click to enlargeThe major basis for the workshop is the revised for the Baltic Sea and the North Sea NECAs, agreed on at the last HELCOM Annual Meeting in March 2016. The agreed deadline for a North and Baltic Sea simultaneous application for IMO is 1 July 2016. The two-day session is aimed for stakeholders, including governance bodies and administrators as well as technology developers, ship owners and port authorities. Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions from shipping is one of the sources of airborne deposition of Nitrogen, aggravating the serious eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. According to estimates, Baltic Sea NECA has potential to reduce cost-efficiently and significantly – around 7 kilotons – Nitrogen input to the Baltic Sea annually after a time lag needed for fleet renewal as the regulation addresses only new ships. The initiative for a Baltic Sea NECA emerges from the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan, agreed by the nine coastal countries and the EU in 2007. Since then, HELCOM has carried out the necessary environmental and economic studies, finalized the needed submission papers as well as carried out the negotiations on the right timing for a final submission to IMO. This anticipated reduction is significant and corresponds to more than the entire country-wise Nitrogen pollution load reduction commitment of several Baltic Sea countries – four out of nine – according to the HELCOM Country Allocated Reduction Target (CART) scheme agreed in 2007, and updated in 2013.​ * * *Note for editorsDuring the last decade shipping has steadily increased in the Baltic Sea, reflecting intensifying co-operation and economic prosperity around the region. The 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 in accordance to the 1992 Helsinki Convention. 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. * * *For more information, please contact:Natalia KutaevaVice-Chair of HELCOM Maritime GroupCouncellor to the Director, Marine Rescue Service of Rosmorrechflot (MRS)Tel: +7 4956261806E-mail: kutaevang(at) Hermanni BackerProfessional Secretary for Maritime, Response and Fish groupsHELCOMTel:  +358 46 8509199E-mail: hermanni.backer(at) Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)

Baltic Sea NECA has potential to reduce cost-efficiently and significantly the nitrogen input to the Baltic Sea – around 7 kilotons per year.