Published: , Updated:

Improved risk assesments in the Arctic

Sailing and operating in Arctic waters poses more risks than in other regions. Untill now, operators have lacked a proper common tool for risk assessments that includes these specific Arctic Risk Influencing Factors (ARIFs). The Norwegian Coastal Administration has lead an international cooperation to develop such a tool - a tool that will increase maritime safety in the Arctic Region.


The Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group of the Arctic Council today released its Guideline for Arctic Marine Risk Assessment. The guideline contains best practice methods and data sources for conducting regional and area-wide risk assessments concerned with ship traffic and operations in the Arctic. The guideline aims to improve and ease the process of conducting Arctic-specific risk assessments by creating a common ground and incorporating unique Arctic risk factors.

Marine risk assessments were, until now, conducted based on information on generic conditions and risk factors found in waters around the world. However, to improve safety of Arctic marine operations, it is key that risk assessments are conducted to understand how Arctic-specific hazards can affect the operations.

“Operating in Arctic waters includes risks unlike other regions in the world, such as sea ice, rapidly changing weather conditions and vast distances to emergency response resources,” said Jens Peter Holst-Andersen, Chair of EPPR. “EPPR identified the need for a common approach to marine risk assessments in the Arctic after screening existing methods used in general marine risk assessments. We concluded that the methodologies, tools and data cover a variety of needs and purposes, but that specific Arctic risk influencing factors were rarely addressed.”

The Guideline targets methods and data sources used for Marine Risk Assessments (also referred to as Navigational-, Shipping- or Ship Traffic Risk Assessment) and Oil Spill or environmental risk assessments. The Guideline is intended for stakeholders involved with or responsible for optimization of risk management strategies concerning prevention and preparedness for loss of life and acute environmental damage in the Arctic region, including governments and administrations that have authority to implement prevention and preparedness measures, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and consultants. The Guideline also addresses more operational assessments that may be relevant for other uses such as shipping companies.


EPPR will host a free webinar on the Guideline for Arctic Marine Risk Assessment on 29 April from 14:00 – 15:00 CET. To participate in the webinar, please register here.

Folder presenting the scope of the project and the guidelines. 

For any questions about the project or webinar, please contact:

Trine Beate Solevågseide, Norwegian Coastal Administration

EPPR Secretariat

Hans Petter Dahlslett, Project Manager, DNV GL




Latest news