Marine pollution bulletin
Abstract The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ship’s Ballast Water and Sediments sets requirements to prevent organism transfers. Vessels on certain routes can be exempted from such requirements based on risk assessment (RA). As the convention nears its entry into force, the interest in exemptions increases. Such RA should be conducted according to the International Maritime Organization G7 Guidelines. We present a RA study for exemptions applied to intra-Baltic shipping considering different RA methods, i.e., environmental matching, species specific method including target species and species biogeographical aspects. As reliable species data in the ports considered are unavailable and following the precautionary principle, no exemptions should be granted. To ensure data reliability, port baseline surveys and regular monitoring programs should be undertaken during the exemption period as new species found influence the RA result. The RA model prepared is considered as of value to other areas worldwide.